NorthEast United FC have announced a 25-member squad for the 132nd edition of the prestigious Durand Cup. Juan Pedro Benali's squad features 11 new signings, including three new foreign recruits. With the Durand Cup being one of the oldest and most illustrious football competitions in India, the Highlanders are gearing up to make their mark.
The team is placed in Group D alongside Shillong Lajong, FC Goa, and Downtown Heroes FC. Juan Pedro Benali's side will be playing all their group stage matches at home in the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati. NorthEast United FC's first match is set to be a blockbuster, as they will face Shillong Lajong on August 4 at 6 p.m.
Sharing his thought process behind the team selection, Benali said, "I am confident in the group of players we have chosen. Our team has a blend of experienced players and promising young talents who have shown great potential in training."
The 54-year-old Spaniard also highlighted the importance of taking part in the competition, which is Asia's oldest football tournament.
"The Durand Cup is a prestigious tournament, and we are eager to compete at our best level. We want to play attractive football. The players have been working hard on the training ground, and I believe we are well-prepared for the challenges ahead. We are all excited to represent NorthEast United FC and aim to make our fans proud with our performances on the field," Benali concluded.
Goalkeepers: Khoirom Jackson Singh, Mirshad Koottappunna, Nikhil Deka
Defenders: Dinesh Singh Soraisham, Tondonba Singh, Miguel Zabaco, Asheer Akhtar, Gaurav Bora, Hira Mondal, Buanthanglun Samte
Midfielders: Romain Philippoteaux, Mohamed Irshad, Gani Ahmed Nigam, Jithin MS, Phalguni Singh Konsham, Shighil Nambrath, Pragyan Gogoi, Fredy Chawngthansanga
Forward: Rochharzela (Chhara), Nestor Albiach, Parthib Gogoi, Manvir Singh, Redeem Tlang, Shajan Franklin, Ibson Melo