Nepal football squad announced for South Asian GamesThe final squad of 20 members includes three senior players.
Nepal Under-23 head coach Bal Gopal Maharjan has announced the final football squad for the 13th South Asian Games set for December 1 to 10 in Kathmandu and Pokhara. The final squad of 20 members includes three senior players in Bikesh Kuthu, Bikram Lama and Sujal Shrestha.
Announcing the squad on Monday, Maharjan said, “We have been preparing well for the Games and all members in the team are very committed. We have been preparing for a long time, the players are of good quality and the inclusion of the seniors will boost the team morale.”
"In the several friendly matches played during the training camp, I got to see my players’ performance and now I have something in mind,” said the 1993 South Asian Games football gold medalist Maharjan adding, “We are ready and will give our 100 per cent."
Prior to this Maharjan had lamented about the lack of proper training facilities, exposure for the players in competitive matches and no alternative to training on the artificial surface while the tournament matches are to be played on natural grass.
“We are confident ahead of the tournament,” said Maharjan, who also led Nepal to 2016 Bangabandu title. “We are trying to arrange another friendly match after the conclusion of the senior team’s FIFA World Cup and Asia Cup joint qualifier match against Kuwait. The team will begin training on the grass surface soon, it will either be at the Buddhi Bikas ground in Lagankhel or at the Nepal Army’s facility.
On the absence of regular captain Kiran Chemjong and star defender turned midfielder Rohit Chand, Maharjan said, “We could not include a few of the senior players that we would have liked because of their contractual obligations to the clubs they play for abroad. They were not released by their clubs for the Games.”
Speaking about the preparations for the Games, Arpan Karki, a promising custodian included in the squad shared, “Our training is going well, but a match against strong opponents before the tournament could help us further in terms of assessing our rooms for improvement.”
“Right now, only six of us are in the training camp as most players of the squad are either in the senior team or the Under-19 group which is in Iran. However, the coach has been helping us, those who are here, train well as anything could happen during the tournament,” said Karki. “We must train and play with the full squad in at least one friendly.”
Goalkeeper: Bikesh Kuthu, Arpan Karki, Deep Karki
Defender: Ananta Tamang, Dinesh Rajbanshi, Suman Aryal, Bikram Lama, Bikash Khawash, Mikchen Tamang, Chirring Gurung
Midfielder: Sujal Shrestha, Sunil Bal, Hemant Thapa Magar, Nitin Thapa, Sesehang Amdangbe, Tej Tamang
Forward: Bimal Gharti Magar, Abishek Rijal, Rejin Subba, Anjan Bista