Gangtok, 14 Feb:
An 18-member state team is all set to represent Sikkim in the 2nd Dr T Ao Centenary North East International NEC Gold Cup Football Championship [U-21] 2019 to be held from 19 to 28 February at Guwahati in Assam. The state team is scheduled to leave on 17 February.
The Sikkim team comprises of: Kunal Tamang, Lakpa Dorjee Bhutia, Roshan Mangar, Aunrag Chettri, Kelvin Sherpa, Abid Mohammad, Roshan Pradhan, Prashant Chettri, Boxer Pradhan, Nikesh Gurung, Robin Sharma, Sukraj Subba, Sagar Mahanto, Burnes Rai, Milan Chettri, Sangay Chophel, Sanjay Rai and Roman Subba.
The team will be led by Kunal Tamang as captain and will be accompanied by Arjun Rai as manager, Milan Singh as coach, Dilip Chettri as team official and Dr Pragyan Basnett as physiotherapist.
The Sports & Youth Affairs Department had conducted a selection trial on 05 February which was attended by 60 footballers from different parts of the State. The selection committee finally shortlisted 18 players to represent the State, following which a rigorous training camp was held at Paljor Stadium.
At a function held here today, Secretary, Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Dr RK Tamang, wished the best to the state team and advised them to play with good coordination and teamwork to keep the name of Sikkim on top.
He further urged them to give their best to win the championship for the State. Likewise, Director Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Kamal Chettri also expressed his best wishes to the team.
Team manager, Arjun Rai shared that the state team comprises a mix of young, promising and experienced players.
“We have a strong squad this time for the championship and I am very hopeful for a better result this time,” he said.
Team captain Kunal Tamang said, “The team is in a good form to give its best in the championship. Half of the our players have recently played in the qualifying round of Santosh Trophy so they are in the high spirits and confidence.”
This time the championship has teams from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh apart from teams of North Eastern States. The fixture is scheduled to be drawn on 18 February and championship will be played on league-cum-knock out basis.