India Under-19 football squad is all set to begin their 2019 edition of Granatkin Memorial Tournament against the hosts Russia on Tuesday. The tournament which held in the remembrance of first FIFA Vice-President Valentin Granatkin has witnessed many exciting battles over the years. Last year, Saint Petersburg won the trophy of the grand tournament after defeating Turkey while powerful team Russia finished at the third spot.
The tournament will feature a total of 12 teams including Argentina, Armenia, Turkey, Greece, Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, India, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Bulgaria, and Moldova. The squads have been divided into three groups and the Indian team has joined Group A featuring Russia, Bulgaria, and Moldova.
Indian tigers will begin their Granatkin Memorial campaign against Russia on June 4 at Saint Petersburg which was later followed by their battles with Group A mates Moldova on June 6 and Bulgaria on June 9. After their three group stage matches Indians will next take on the fields in playoff matches if they qualify for the round.
The head coach of Under-19 Indian National Football Team, Floyd Pinto said while announcing the strong team, “we have travelled with an 18-member squad. Our primary target will be to give every member as much game time as possible. Our primary lookout will be acclimatized as soon as possible, and play to our true potential”. This time Indian head coach has given the chance to both the experienced and debutant footballers as the team selectors have picked up the players who qualified to quarterfinals of AFC U-16 Championship 2018 and also the players who just stepped into the field through trials.
Moreover, star Indian players Harmanpreet Singh and Rohit Danu will lead the squad this year while brilliant goalies Prabhsukhan Singh Gill and Niraj Kumar will protect the goal post for the blue team.
Here is the complete list of 18-member under-19 Indian football squad participating in Granatkin Memorial Tournament:
Indian Squad for Granatkin Memorial Tournament
Goalkeepers: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill and Niraj Kumar
Defenders: Akash Mishra, Muhammed Rafi, Sumit Rathi, Shabas Ahammed and Jitendra Singh
Midfielders: Sanjeev Stalin, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Ninthoinganba Meetei Khumanthem, Givson Singh Moirangthem, Vikram Partap Singh, Ricky John Shabong, Lalchhanhima Sailo, Muhammed Basith Parathodi and Robin Yadav
Forwards: Harmanpreet Singh and Rohit Danu