Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac has recalled centre-back Anas Edathodika in 35-man probables for the Intercontinental Cup to be held in Ahmedabad from July 7-19.
Anas, who had announced his retirement from international football after the AFC Asian Cup in UAE earlier this year, informed the AIFF that he had “received a message from coach Stimac,” after which he “contemplated coming out of international retirement.”
“Coach Stimac has shown his faith in me, and it’s my turn to repay him,” Anas said. “He messaged me to join the upcoming camp. Honestly, I was taken aback. Later Venky bhai (assistant coach Venkatesh Shanmugam) shared all details, and I just can’t wait to join the camp,” he stated.
“The respect I earned while playing for the national team is something which has pushed me to challenge myself again,” Anas quipped.
“At the moment, I’m just focusing on the camp, and not thinking about making the cut to the team at all. Whatever comes my way, I’ll accept it,” he admitted. “I’m equally passionate and focused like I was a year back. I’m ready to push myself more.
“Every coach has a different philosophy, and see the game differently. We had some great results before, and now all the boys whom I have spoken to, have lauded coach Stimac heavily,” he was quoted as saying in an AIFF release.
The other first-timers in the camp since Stimac took over include defenders Sarthak Golui, Narender Gehlot, and midfielders Mandar Rao Desai, Ashique Kuruniyan and Nikhil Poojary.
The Intercontinental Cup will be Stimac’s second assignment since taking charge of the Blue Tigers. India, under the Croatian’s tutelage, finished third in the King’s Cup recently, which included India’s first-ever away win over Thailand.
India begin their Intercontinental campaign at the TrasStadia Arena in Ahmedabad against a strong Tajikistan on July 7, with DPR Korea, and Syria being the other two teams in the four-nation competition. Every team will be playing each other once, with the top two advancing to the final.
The list of 35 probables is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Vishal Kaith.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Rahul Bheke, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Anas Edathodika, Anwar Ali (Jr), Sarthak Golui, Subhasish Bose, Narender Gahlot.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Raynier Fernandes, Pronay Halder, Rowllin Borges, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul, Amarjit Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Mandar Rao Desai, Ashique Kuruniyan, Nikhil Poojary, Michael Soosairaj.
Forwards: Balwant Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Jobby Justin, Farukh Choudhary, Manvir Singh.