HYDERABAD FC HAVE NAMED a squad heavy on youth for their upcoming Durand Cup 2021 campaign.
The youngest ISL club's long awaited debut in Asia's oldest running football tournament will be helmed by Thangboi Singto (First Team Assistant Coach & Technical Director of Youth at Hyderabad FC) and Shameel Chembakath, the head coach of Hyderabad FC Reserves.
The team is all-Indian and features only four first team players, namely Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Pritam Soraisam, Ishan Dey and Abdul Rabeeh. Among them, only Pritam has experience of playing top division league football, having played for regularly for Shillong Lajong FC in the I-League.
This is the first time Hyderabad FC will be fielding only with domestic players in a team that's not explicitly labelled as their reserves or an age-group youth squad.
The Nizams' full Durand Cup squad is as follows...
Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Aman Kumar Sahani, Abhinav Mulagada
Defenders: Pritam Soraisam, Amritpal Singh, Muhammed Rafi, Goutam Saikhom, Muhammad Safique Ahmed, Dipu Halder, Paogoumang Singson
Midfielders: Abdul Rabeeh, Mark Zothanpuia, Lalchungnunga Chhangte, R Swapana Jeevan RT, Koustav Dutta, Crespo Vanlalhriatpuia, Lalrintluanga, Suhit Chhetry, Amosa Lalnundanga, Rohlupuia
Forwards: Ishan Dey, Arun Kabrabam
It appears that the Hyderabad FC management are trying to test out the young blood in their camp before they prepare for their Indian Super League 2021-22 campaign. According to a statement from the club,
"The 22-member squad which kicks off their campaign against Assam Rifles on the 12th of September also boasts of 20 players aged 20 or less."
The Hyderabad football community has deep old ties with the Durand Cup. The famed Hyderabad City Police FC, who dominated Indian football back in the 1950s, won this prestigious trophy multiple times. Hyderabad FC's participation in the 130th edition is another bit of nostalgia that will add to the flavour of this historic competition.
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