Courtesy: PTI, Times of India
Young defender Subhasish Bose will captain India in the opening match of the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 against Sri Lanka at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka on September 5, said national football team coach Stephen Constantine.
“Subhasish has been very impressive in the recent camps. In the first few days, he had to work a lot and being a fighter, he has made a strong comeback. I’m very proud of him and obviously, it’s going to be a very special moment for him,” said the coach.
Asked whether the defending champions will start as favourites, the 55-year-old Constantine replied: “I have always looked to this opportunity to provide some international experience to the youngsters and that’s why we have come with a U-23 squad.
“Obviously, we have come to win the tournament as we have always done. We have a fair chance of getting the job done but I won’t say that we’re going to start as favourites,” he said.
“The whole squad is eagerly waiting to get the ball rolling. Everyone will be up for the game against us and it’ll be a great experience for all of us.”
India are clubbed with Sri Lanka and one-time champions Maldives (2008) in Group B whereas hosts Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan are placed in Group A.
India have arrived at the Capital City of Bangladesh from their 17-day preparatory camp in Sydney where they played three friendly fixtures against APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, Sydney FC and Rydalmere Lions FC respectively.
Asked how the camp helped the boys prepare for the tournament, Constantine stated, “The three games in Australia have been terrific practice for us. The game against Sydney FC, that too their first squad has been a great lesson for us. We got a few positive feedbacks from Australia and those are going to be pretty helpful for us in the coming days.”
Subhasish said that it’s a dream-come-true moment for him.
“It’s a dream-come-true situation for me to lead the national team. I’d like to thank our coach for his trust in me and I’d give my best to make the best of the opportunity,” he said.
After Sri Lanka, India will play Maldives on September 9.