Six Hyderabad FC players called up for national camp
35 probables named for India's friendlies; HFC players most represented
Hyderabad: It is a proud day for Hyderabad FC as six of its players have been named in the 35-member probable squad announced by Indian National Team Coach Igor Stimac for the friendly games against Oman and UAE which will be held in Dubai on March 25 and 29 respectively.
As part of the preparation for the two matches against Oman and UAE and to get the players acclimatised a preparatory camp will be held in Dubai itself from March 15 onwards. The camp will be held under the aegis of coach Stimac.
With attackers Halicharan Narzary, Liston Colaco, midfielders Hitesh Sharma, Mohammad Yasir, and defenders Chinglensana Singh and Akash Mishra in the national probable team, Hyderabad FC becomes the most represented club in the camp.
While Narzary has been a regular for the Men in Blue in recent times, defender Sana Singh marks his return to the national set-up after a strong season at Hyderabad. Midfielder Hitesh Sharma, who was part of the youthful squad that played in the SAFF Championship in 2019, will be part of the senior setup for the first time.
The national team call up is a first at the senior level for Mohammad Yasir, Akash Mishra and Liston Colaco, all of whom have stamped their authority over Manolo Marquez's side this season, among 10 first-time inclusions in the list in response to their performances in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season. They've not just become regulars in the side, but they've also put in impressive performances throughout the campaign.
Hyderabad has contributed a number of players to the national football team back in 50s-60s and HFC has now brought about the same enthusiasm for football. Hyderabad FC's focus on youth and impressive performances has helped provide a top platform for players and the club seeing the most players get called up for the national team in just their second year bare testimony to this fact.
"We have kept 35 players in the list as a cushion in case any player picks up an injury during the ISL playoffs," said Stimac.
The Croatian said that Brandon Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Sahal Abdul Samad and Asish Rai do not feature in the list as they are recovering from injuries.
India's last match ended in a 1-0 defeat to Oman in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on November 19, 2019. While they were scheduled to resume their World Cup qualification campaign with a match against Qatar in March, it was eventually postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The qualifiers are now scheduled to resume in June with India facing Qatar on June 3, Bangladesh on June 11 and Afghanistan on June 15.