Tournament Returns After 30-Year Hiatus; Blues Face Sreenidi Deccan In Opener
Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC have announced their 23-man squad for the 28th edition of the Stafford Challenge Cup, set to commence at the Bangalore Football Stadium, on Thursday. The tournament, which returns after a three-decade hiatus, features fifteen teams, including reserve sides of Indian Super League and I-League teams, along with Super Division sides from Bengaluru and 2nd Division I-League teams.
The Blues’ squad, set to be led by Bengaluru FC first team Assistant Coach Naushad Moosa, includes first-team players Leon Augustine, Namgyal Bhutia, Ashish Jha and Lara Sharma, among others. Clarence Fernandes, Felixson Fernandes and Vinith Venkatesh are among seven others in the squad who turned out for the Blues in the Hero Futsal Club Championship, held recently in Delhi.
“The Stafford Challenge Cup is a very prestigious tournament, and I’m glad to see it back on the competition calendar after so many years. Our squad is a mix of young players and those who will benefit from competitive action, and the aim is to do well and go as far as we can in the tournaments. As a club, we want to assess the level of our players to understand where they stand,” coach Moosa said.
The Blues have been grouped alongside Sreenidi Deccan FC, Delhi FC and Kenkre FC in Group C, and begin their campaign on Friday, 24th February with a clash against Sreenidi. Group toppers will qualify for the semifinals of the competition, set to take place on 3rd March before the final three days later.
All matches in the 2023 Stafford Challenge Cup will be telecast live on FanCode, and tickets are available at the Box Office at the Bangalore Football Stadium.
Head Coach: Naushad Moosa
Goalkeepers: Amrit Gope, Lara Sharma, Sharon Padattil
Defenders: Ashik Adhikari, Felixson Fernandes, Clarence Fernandes, Wungngayam Muirang, Namgyal Bhutia, Biswa Darjee, Rajanbir Singh.
Midfielders: Amay Morajkar, Shighil NS, F Lalhmingchhuanga, Ashish Jha, Shreyas Ketkar, Vinith V, Damaitphang Lyngdoh, Harsh Patre.
Forwards: Harmanpreet Singh, Leon Augustine, Thoi Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Satendra Singh.