The All India Football Federation announced the 26-man squad for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Oman and Guam to be held on the 11th and 16th of June respectively. Here is North Campus Football League’s squad report, as we introduce you to the players!
- Subrata Paul (Salgaocar SC)
Nicknamed ‘Spiderman’ for his lightning-quick reflexes, Subrata Pal is one of the most senior players in the squad and was chosen as captain by Stephen Constantine for the first round of qualification vs Nepal. He has played for top Indian teams such as Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, and now Salgaocar SC and played for the Ranbir Kapoor-owned Mumbai City FC in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League (ISL). In 2014, Pal signed for FC Vestsjælland of the Danish Superliga, but despite signing on as a member of the squad, he did not make any appearance for the first team. He has made a total of 72 appearances for the National Team and received praise from all over the world for his performances in the AFC Asian Cup in 2011, where he made a total of 16 saves in a 4-1 loss to South Korea.
- Prem Kumar Singh (Royal Wahingdoh)
Aged just 20, Prem Kumar Singh was one of the stars of the Royal Wahingdoh team which finished an impressive third in this season’s I-League. He began his career with Langsning FC, which is a team from Shillong, and moved to Wahingdoh in 2014. He made his I-League debut in February 2015 against Dempo and has made eight appearances since. He joined the national squad as a replacement for Kalyani Bharat FC keeper Arindam Bhattacharya, who also played for Pune in the ISL.
- Sanjiban Ghosh (Mumbai FC)
Sanjiban Ghosh is another young goalkeeper in the national squad, and he plays for Mumbai FC in the I-League. He is just 23 years old and made 4 appearances for Mumbai FC this season in the league, and kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw vs Dempo. He recently signed a new deal with his club in October 2014, with the Mumbai FC coach was quoted as saying, “Sanjiban has shown great attitude at this club. I see a bright future for him. He just needs to keep working hard and compete.”
- Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Stabaek FC)
This 23-year old from Chandigarh is definitely a star for the future as he made the headlines in April 2015 by becoming the first ever Indian to make a competitive debut for a top-tier European Club, when he started in goal for Stabaek FC of Norway in a cup game vs Runar, where he kept a clean sheet in his team’s emphatic 6-0 win. He signed with East Bengal in 2010 at the age of 18 and made 27 appearances for the side. He later inked a permanent deal with Stabaek FC last year to become only the fifth Indian footballer to be awarded a contract to play professional football in Europe. He also has one India cap to his name, in a 1-1 draw vs Turkmenistan.