SAFF Championship: Anil Gurung named football captain
KATHMANDU, Dec 14: Nepali national football team has got a new captain after six years as head coach Patrick Aussems named Anil Gurung as the skipper of the squad which is all set to play the SAFF Championship in Trivandrum, India, from December 23 to January 3.
Aussems made the announcement at the ANFA headquarters, Satdobato, during a program to declare the final list of players for the championship. He, however, said that either Biraj Maharjan or Rohit Chand will wear the captain’s armband if Anil does not make it to the starting list.
“Anil, Biraj and Rohit are the captains of the group. I need good leader than captain. Naming captain is just a formality. Anil, however, is our first choice since he is the oldest in the team and also a senior player. Biraj and Rohit might take the responsibility if Anil does not make to the starting XI,” coach Aussems said.
Anil was named the captain after Sagar Thapa, who won the captain’s armband in 2009, was handed a life ban by Asian Football Confederation for his involvement in match fixing. Thapa along with defender Sandip Rai and goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa and former Nepali internationals Anjan KC and Bikash Singh Chhetri were handed life bans from football.
The list of 20 players announced on Monday includes three goalkeepers, six defenders and forwards each and five midfielders.
“Though majority of the players are young and inexperienced, they are full of enthusiasm and it is also their duty to bring back smiles on the faces of football fans. I cannot claim that we will win the tournament but the players will make the football fans proud of them,” said Aussems.
Ramesh Rayamajhi is the manager of the team while Bal Gopal Maharjan and Hari Khadka are assistant coaches and Upendra Man Singh is the goalkeeping coach. Suraj Bhusal is the physiotherapist and Raju Dangol is the physician.
The Nepali team will leave for Bangladesh on Tuesday, play a friendly with Bangladesh on Thursday and spend three more days in Bangladesh. The team will leave for India from Dhaka on December 21.
Nepal is pitted in Group A in the SAFF Championship along with host India and Sri Lanka while Group B consists of Afghanistan, the Maldives, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Nepal will take on Sri Lanka on December 23 and India on December 27 in the group-stage matches.
Goalkeeper: Kiran Chemjong, Bikesh Kutu, Amrit Chaudhary
Defender: Rabin Shrestha, Biraj Maharjan, Jitendra Karki, Aditya Chaudhary, Ananta Tamang, Ranjit Dhimal
Midfielder: Rohit Chand, Bikram Lama, Bishal Rai, Heman Gurung, Yogesh Gurung
Forward: Anil Gurung, Bimal Gharti Magar, Anjan Bista, Jagjeet Shrestha, Nabin Lama, Nawayug Shrestha – See more at: