The Blue Tigers are currently preparing for the tournament which is set to begin in Thailand in the first week of June.
Following the release of six players from the national team camp, being held in Delhi, for the upcoming King’s Cup, few more players have been cut down from the roster.
The most recent departing players are Narayan Das (Delhi Dynamos), Salam Ranjan Singh (East Bengal), Dhanpal Ganesh (Chennaiyin FC), Rowllin Borges (NorthEast United), Anwar Ali (Mumbai City) and Komal Thatal (ATK). Earlier the Igor Stimac-led outfit had released Sumeet Passi (Jamshedpur), Nandha Kumar (Delhi Dynamos), Redeem Tlang (NorthEast United), Bikramjit Singh (Delhi Dynamos), Germanpreet Singh (Chennaiyin) and Vishal Kaith (FC Pune City).
Watch: How Indian Football Team is training under new head coach Igor Stimac?
The AIFF quoted Stimac as saying, “We are more than happy with the commitment of the players so far and have really enjoyed working with them every day. They are passionate, excited and are making obvious progress on a daily basis.”
Das had an average 2018-19 season with his parent club, rarely sparkling for the Lions. Salam Ranjan has hardly featured for the Red and Gold Brigade, but was selected by Stephen Constantine (alongwith Das) for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Meanwhile, Dhanpal Ganesh missed the entire ISL campaign due to injury.
Borges had an excellent season with NEUFC and is expected to join Mumbai City. But, the Goan put in disappointing displays in India’s exit from the continental competition. While Thatal sparkled in bits and pieces in the 2018-19 season. The 18-year-old was also called-up for a national team camp under the previous tactician.
Ali had a good season with Indian Arrows (on loan from Mumbai City).
“The hardest part of the job comes when decisions are to be done about releasing some of them after hard work they put in for the past ten days,” quipped Stimac.
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Earlier in his first official media interaction in Delhi (as reported by Khel Now), Stimac had stated that he preferred to start off by taking physical tests of all his players, as most of them were on holiday. He stated that the tests were to find out where the players’ fitness levels stand at, so that his team has all the information.
Watch: Isac Doru and Igor Stimac’s first press conference
Also, regarding his commitment he had stated, “I promise that I will work hard, and will learn about my players. We need to have options. Like when our plans are not working, we need to shift to a different tactical system. I can’t promise you those good things will happen overnight. That’s an illusion.” He had further added, “The team is ready to learn and it is time for them to start learning.”
Speaking to the AIFF Stimac also revealed, “After yesterday’s (May 29) game which we played as part of our evening training session, we decided to release another six players. All of them have been handed their individual working programme which is to be followed and monitored. I wish them good luck and expect them to be working hard.”
The Blue Tigers will be leaving for Thailand on 2nd June. The King’s Cup has been organised by the Football Association of Thailand since 1968. India have participated in it twice, in 1977 and 1981.
It is also a FIFA-sanctioned International ‘A’ tournament.
On 5th June, India will play their first match against Curacao, while the hosts will take on Vietnam in the same day. Winners of both the encounters will play in the final, while the contest for third place will also take place, on 8th June.
GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh
DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Subhasish Bose
MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Raynier Fernandes,Pronay Halder, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul, Amarjit Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Michael Soosairaj
FORWARDS: Balwant Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Jobby Justin, Farukh Choudhary, Manvir Singh