Stimac pulls Anas out of retirement

Anas Edathodika

Central defender Anas Edathodika has come out of international retirement and figures in the list of 35 probables for the Hero Intercontinental Cup.

Edathodika had announced his retirement from international football after the AFC Asian Cup in UAE earlier last year but a call from head coach Igor Stimac made him change his mind.

“Coach Stimac has shown his faith in me, and it's my turn to repay him,” Anas was quoted by AIFF. “Coach asked 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 At the moment, I’m just focussing on the camp, and not thinking about making the cut to the team at all. Whatever comes my way, I'll accept it.”

The Indian team will be camping at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai from June 25.

Stimac, who in his second match as coach of India guided them to their first-ever away win over Thailand, appreciated Anas’ decision. “Anas had played a significant role under Mr Constantine, and I welcome his decision to accept my call, and make himself available for the national team,” he said.

“All our players should consider themselves candidates for the National Team shirt as far as they work hard, and keep playing well for their respective clubs."

The other first-timers in the camp under coach Stimac include defenders Sarthak Golui, and Narender Gehlot; and midfielders Mandar Rao Desai, Ashique Kuruniyan, and Nikhil Poojary.

The Hero Intercontinental Cup will be held at the EKA Arena in Ahmedabad from July 7-19. Defending champions India begin their campaign on the opening day against a strong Tajikistan on July 7, with South 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.

Probables: 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.

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