Pune FC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh and striker Thongkhosiem Haokip have been named in the final 20-member Indian Under-23 squad for the upcoming 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Featuring regularly for Pune FC’s first team during last season, Amrinder and Haokip have been part of the two-month long preparatory camp for the games since July. During this period, the duo travelled to the Czech Republic and China for exposure tours and will hope to make an impression on the continental stage.
Both Amrinder and Haokip thus become the first-ever Peninsula Pune FC Academy (PPFCA) graduates to represent India at the Asian Games.
The duo joined PPFCA at the start of the 2011-12 season, and have helped Pune FC in winning the Under-20 I-League title on multiple occasions. While Amrinder won the title once in 2012, Haokip won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.
Pune FC’s other two players, defender Salam Ranjan Singh and medio Dhanpal Ganesh, who too were part of the camp, were unlucky to miss out on the final selections.
Placed in Group-G, India will face 2010 Asian Games silver-medallists UAE in the opener at the Hwaseong Stadium on September 15th followed by a clash against Jordan at the Incheon Munhak Stadium on September 22nd.
The 20-member squad announced by national coach Wim Koevermans is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh (Pune FC), Ravi Kumar, Kamaljit Singh
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Keenan Almeida, Joyner Lourenco, Shankar Sampingiraj, Sandesh Jhingan, Narayan Das
Midfielders: Pronoy Halder, Clifton Dias, Siam Hangal, Lalrindika Ralte, Milan Singh
Forwards: Francis Fernandes, Seiminlen Doungel, Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Thongkhosiem Haokip (Pune FC), Mandar Rao Desai