KATHMANDU, Jan 22: The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) has named 42 players in the initial phase of selection for the Group D qualifiers of AFC Challenge Cup to be held in Kathmandu from March 2-6. Nepal is pitted against Bangladesh, Palestine and Northern Mariana Island in the qualifiers.
Among the players called up for training, 20 are members of the national team that participated in the Nehru Cup in August, 2012.
According to a press statement issued by ANFA on Thursday, the players were selected by the newly-appointed coaches Jack Stefanowski and Richard Orlowski. "The selection was made on the basis of previous national squad and the performance in the ongoing national league," ANFA spokesperson Lalit Krishna Shrestha said.
Among the selected players, nine are from Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC), eight from league leader Three Star, six from Friends, four each from Police and Army, three from Machhindra, two from APF and one each from NRT, Madhyapur, Jawalakhel, Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) and Himalayan Sherpa. Rohit Chand who plays professional football from Indonesian side PSPS Pekanbaru is also included in the list.
Bishal Shrestha, Sabindra Shrestha, Bikash Singh Chhetri, Shiva Shrestha, Sulav Maskey, Sujal Shrestha, Anil Gurung, Nirajan Malla and Amir Shrestha are the players from MMC. Kiran Chemjong, Biraj Maharjan, Bijay Dhimal, Sandip Rai, Bikram Lama, Bijay Gurung, Anil Ojha and Santosh Sahukhala are the players named from Three Star.
Likewise, Ritesh Thapa, Rabin Shrestha, Bhola Silwal and Jumanu Rai of departmental team Nepal Police Club and Jeetendra Karki, Raju Tamang, Bharat Khawas and Nawayug Shrestha of Nepal Army Club have been selected for training. Sagar Thapa, Deepak Bhusal, Nirajan Khadka, Jagjeet Shrestha, Prakash Budathoki and Santosh Tamang are from Friends Club while Bishal Rai A and B and Deepak Rai are from Machhidnra.
The other selected players are Rajendra Rawal and Ganesh Lawati from APF, Sushil Lama from NRT, Bikesh Kutu from Madhyapur, Prabin Karki from Jawalakhel, Amar Dangol from RCT and Rupesh KC from Himalayan Sherpa.