The India preparatory squad for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers has been cut from 44 to 23 players with the camp to be held in Kuala Lumpur from March 15. In the Malaysian capital India will face Chinese Taipei (March 21), Pakistan (March 23) and Turkmenistan (March 25) in the Group B qualifiers for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup.
Senior players are being rested by Bob Houghton, who will see if the younger players can take over from their more experienced players. This will be the first assignment for Bob Houghton after the federation has tried to get rid of him with a new manager in place in Mandhar Tamhane from Pune.
For India the qualifiers are crucial as they would have to be amongst the top two teams to qualify for the final round, which India could host next year and then try to qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup to be played in Australia.
Arindam Bhattacharya (Churchill Brothers SC), Subroto Pal (Pune FC), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Indian Arrows)
Anwar (Mohun Bagan AC), Nirmal Chetri (East Bengal Club), Denzil Franco (Churchill Brothers SC), Raju Gaekwad (Indian Arrows), N.S. Manju (United Sikkim FC), Nalappan Mohanraj (Mohun Bagan AC), Syed Rahim Nabi (East Bengal Club), Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh (Churchill Brothers SC), Govin Moirangthem Singh (Salgaocar SC)
Joaquim Abranches (Dempo SC), Shilton D'Silva (Indian Arrows), Steven Benedic Dias (Churchill Brothers SC), Rakesh Masih (Mohun Bagan AC), Jewel Sheikh Raja (Indian Arrows), Baldeep Singh (Salgaocar SC), Jagpreet Singh (JCT)
Sunil Chhetri (Chirag United SC), Jeje Lalpekhulua (Indian Arrows), C.S. Sabeeth (Viva Kerala), Sushil Kumar Singh (East Bengal Club)
Chief Coach: Robert Douglas Houghton; Assistant Coach: Savio Medeira; Goalkeeping Coach: Marcos Anthony Pacheco; Manager: Mandhar Tamhane