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I won't say that we're going to start as favourites in the SAFF Cup- Stephen Constantine


The Indian gaffer is looking forward to provide 'international experience' to the youngsters.

Coach Stephen Constantine divulged that young defender Subhasish Bose will don the captain’s armband in the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 opener against Sri Lanka at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday.

"Subhasish has been very impressive in the recent camps. In the first few days, he had to work a lot and being a fighter, he has made a strong comeback. I'm very proud of him and obviously, it's going to be a very special moment for him", Coach lavished his praise for the youngster.

On being asked whether the defending champions will start as the ‘favourites’, the 55-year-old coach quashed it completely.

"I have always looked to this opportunity to provide some International experience to the youngsters and that's why we have come with a U23 squad. Obviously, we have come to win the tournament as we have always done. We have a fair chance of getting the job done but I won't say that we're going to start as favourites."

“The whole squad is eagerly waiting to get the ball rolling and I would like to say that every single member of the team is enthralled for it. Everyone will be up for the game against us and it'll be a great experience for all of us", he said.

India are clubbed with Sri Lanka and one-time champions Maldives (2008) in Group B whereas hosts Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan will jostle in Group A.


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India have arrived at the Capital City of Bangladesh from their 17-day preparatory camp in Sydney where they played three friendly fixtures against APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, Sydney FC and Rydalmere Lions FC respectively.

On being asked how the camp helped the boys prepare for the championship, Constantine stated, "The three games in Australia have been terrific practice for us. The game against Sydney FC, that too their first squad has been a great lesson for us. We got a few positive feedbacks from Australia and those are going to be pretty helpful for us in the coming days."

Subhasish Bose, the young defender who caught the imagination, thanks to his swashbuckling show of late, informed that it’s a ‘dream-come-true’ moment for me.

"It's a dream-come-true situation for me to lead the National Team. I'd like to thank our coach for his trust in me and I'd give my best to make the best of the opportunity", he stated.

The fixture in the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 is as follows:

September 5: India v Sri Lanka (18:30 PM IST)

September 9: India v Maldives (18:30 PM IST)

Published: Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:28 PM IST


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