Koji announces Nepali squad

- Post Report, Lalitpur

Mar 22, 2016-

Nepal coach Gyotoku Koji on Monday announced a 23-member squad for a friendly against Malaysia U-22 team slated for March 27 at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium Paroi in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. 

The new coach, who took over the national team earlier this month, retained most of the players that were part of the 12th South Asian Games in India and Bangabandhu Gold Cup. “Only players who were injured or away from the country were left out,” said Koji. The Japanese kept faith with the youngsters following their title winning run at the SA Games and Bangabandhu Gold Cup. 

“We have picked up mostly youngsters keeping in mind the future prospects,” added the former Japanese international, who was the head coach of Bhutan in 2008-09. He also said that since Nepal were playing against the U-22 team, it was logical to pick players of same age group.

Koji said its too early to give views on Nepali football but said he has seen huge potentials in players after watching domestic football tournament in Simara. “The friendly game in Malaysia will give me some idea of Nepali players. Of course, we would like to win the match but result is less significant,” said the coach. For now, Koji plans to keep the national team in regular training by including few more players despite having no international matches 

this year. 

All Nepal Football Association (Anfa) Chief Executive Officer Indra Man Tuladhar said the friendly game was part of their effort to give exposure the national team. “We don’t have any international matches until the 2017 Saff Championship,” said Tuladhar. “That is the reason we have fixed the friendly to get the players involved in games. Our focus is the Saff Championship and the World Cup Qualifiers thereafter.” 

Tuladhar thanked Japanese Football Association (JFA) for helping find the coach for Nepal. Koji appointment came after Anfa brought in compatriot Takeda Chiaki as technical director in February for one year. 

Koji has agreed upon a year contract with the All Nepal Football Association. Koji has inked an initial contract for 11 months with monthly remuneration of $5,200. “His contract expires on January 31 next year but we can extend it to further two years,” said Tuladhar.

The team includes five forwards, six midfielders, nine defenders and three goalkeepers. Bimal Gharti Magar, Anjan Bista and Ananta Tamang were included in the squad due to their commitments for Spain’s non-league club Marbella United FC, while veteran striker Anil Gurung was ignored.

Published: 22-03-2016 09:26

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