Indian national football team coach Stephen Constantine has stated once again that he is looking to build a team for the future as he included non-I-League players as well in the list of probables for the upcoming SAFF Cup 2015 in Kerala.
The prestigious South-Asian football tournament, which is scheduled to kick off on 23 December, has already seen Pakistan pull out of the competition, reportedly due to issues within the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).
Nevertheless, the competition will go on with seven teams this time. India are grouped alongside Nepal and Sri Lanka in Pool A, while Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Bhutan represent Pool B.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced on Saturday that an initial list of 28 probables will be assembling in Kochi starting 9 December in a preparatory camp that will go on for 12-14 days, possibly until the end of the Indian Super League this season.
Commenting on the team selection, which consists of players from the AIFF U-19 Academy and the Calcutta Football League (CFL) as well, Constantine said that the AIFF and the coaching staff are working on expanding the pool of players, and making sure that anyone who has the talent gets to feature for the senior national team.
"We have selected a squad which encompasses all of Indian Football – right from State Leagues, U-19 Academy Players, Players from I-League and the ISL. We are building a Team for the future," the British coach said in a release. "In my first Press Conference in New Delhi, I had mentioned that we will be keeping a tab on all Football Players who play beyond the I-League and the ISL. We are trying to expand our pool of Players. 28 players will join us initially. With the ISL going on, it gives us an opportunity to call up those Players that we would not have been able to work with. It's not bad the way it's worked out," Constantine added.
The full list of 40 probables:
Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Karanjit Singh, Laxmikant Kattimani, Amrinder Singh.
Defenders: Aiborlang Khongjee, Lalchhuanmawia, Sandesh Jhingan, Koushik Sarkar (SAI, Kolkata), Robin Gurung, Arnab Mondal, Augustine Fernadnes, Rino Anto, Narayan Das, Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika.
Midfielders: Malswamzuala (AIFF U-19 Academy), Jain Punchakadan (Army XI), Alwyn George, Rowin Borges (both non-ISL Players), Cavin Lobo, Sanju Pradhan, Irom Seityasen Singh, Rowlin Borges, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Francisco Fernandes, Mohammed Rafique, Bikash Jairu, Pronoy Halder, Romeo Fernandes, Sehnaj Singh.
Forwards: Daniel Lalramzuava (AIFF U-19 Academy), Arjun Tudu (Army XI), Sunil Chhetri, Holicharan Narzary, Udanta Singh, Robin Singh, Jeje Lalpeklhua, Haokip, Sumeet Passi.