The 20-member Vodafone National U17 squad for OFC Qualifiers to the U17 FIFA World Cup was named today.
Head coach Shalen Lal said they went on merit and performance was the major factor they looked on for the players to make it to the team.
“I guess the right selection has been done and with the panel of coaches with the technical team, we have listed down the 20 players and the four players that did not make it to the final squad are non-traveling and they will be called in if there happens to be any injuries during the build-up games that we will be playing in New Zealand.
“Out from the squad is a goalkeeper, a defender, a midfielder and a striker. They are given training program whereby they will follow and will be called back in the team if the need arises.”
He said final touches are now being put up before the team departs for New Zealand this Sunday.
“The boys are training under the guidance of our national coach, the technical team with the technical director and master Yogendra Dutt who all are coming together to give final touch to the team before we fly out on Sunday.
Lal said the boys are gelling on well and the main concern for them is possession football.
“We’re sticking to the game plan and whatever we have been practicing during the training to put it up during the game.
“As we say the training model becomes the game model so whatever we’re doing in the training, we want to put it up together as in game.
“With the expertise of our national coach (Christophe Gamel) coming in this week, he has outlined few areas where we lacked on. We’re trying to patch up and work with all those so that when we fly out on Sunday for the build-up games, we’re prepared.
“But then again we have got another month in New Zealand to prepare before we head on to Tahiti. We will try to rotate players and see who fits where best according to the games we play in New Zealand.”
The Vodafone National U17 side, after playing four matches in New Zealand, will depart for Tahiti for two more friendly matches before playing Solomon Islands in its first qualifier on February 12.
They face Samoa in its second game three days later before battling New Zealand in its final qualifying match on February 18.
Mohammed Naizal, Mohammed Muzammil Jamil, Simione Nabenu, Shaheel Chandra Gounder, Jone Marayawa Sukulu, Romit Ritik Narayan, Jovilisi Muloca, Ratu Kaliova Rokomaya Dau, Muni Shivam Naidu, Paula Tuinaserau, Semi Matalau, Kishan Ravinesh Sami, Mohammed Alzaar Alam, Kemueli James Uluikavoro, Asaeli Batikasa, Iliesa Rakuka, Fardean Shiraz Hussein, Shaneel Avhitesh Narayan, Navau Raikibei Tikoruku, Waisake Soga.