Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Gursimrat Singh Gill have respectively been named captain and vice-captain of the Indian under-19 football team that will take part in the first edition of the Under-19 SAFF championship to be held in Kathmandu (Nepal) from August 20 to 29. Daniel and Gursimrat will be joined by two of their former team-mates of Chandigarh Football Academy, Lalramzauva Khiangte and Kamalpreet Singh, on their quest to script history in Nepal.
“It feels great to be given such a huge responsibility by the coaches. Our morale is definitely high and we will try our best to win the title,” said the 17-year-old Gursimrat, who plays as a central defender.
While Daniel and Kamalpreet, both strikers, and midfielder Lalramzauva, have already established themselves as young prospects for the future Indian team, promising defender Gursimrat, who was once being eyed by top Italian Series A giant, Inter Milan, has the opportunity to cement his place in the under19 national team.
“The boys have made the city proud. I have full faith in their abilities and hopefully they will return triumphant,” said Harjinder Singh, chief coach of Chandigarh Football Academy.
All the four players were members of the AIFF Under-19 Elite Academy, which shocked top Indian giants like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal to win the Under19 I-League title earlier this year.
Teams, including Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, will take part in the SAFF Championship. India will face Afghanistan in their opening match on August 23, followed by their second match against Maldives on August 25.