Thursday, July 7

5 players make a comeback in preliminary squad of national football team

By a Staff Reporter

Kathmandu – Football coach Abdullah Al Mutairi has announced a 34-member preliminary squad for Nepal’s friendly match against Mauritius. Five players have made a comeback in the national team announced on Monday.

Defender Devendra Tamang, midfielder Subash Gurung and forward Bimal Gharti Magar have been included in the preliminary squad. Tamang and Gharti Magar had been excluded from the national team for a long time due to injury layoff. Midfielder Arik Bista has also not played for the national team ever since he was injured ahead of the SAFF Championship. Darshan Gurung, who has already played for the national team, has been included in the preliminary squad once again.

The last time Bimal Gharti Magar played for the national team was in July 2019 in a friendly match against Myanmar. He faced disciplinary action during the term of Swedish coach Johan Kalin and was excluded from the national team. Later, Bal Gopal Maharjan recalled him in the squad but he got injured during a training session. This is the first time Coach Al Mutairi has included Bimal Gharti Magar in the national squad.

Similarly, defender Devendra Tamang has also not played for the national team since the last two years due to injury. He has been excluded from the national team after featuring against Kuwait during Nepal’s World Cup qualifiers in November 2019. Tamang, who has been performing exceptionally well in the ongoing league, is likely to make it to the final squad. He used to be a first-choice player before being injured.

Midfielder Arik Bista has also been out due to injury sustained during a training session ahead of the SAFF Championship.

Other players called for the first time by Coach Al Mutairi include goalkeeper duo Tikendra Thapa and Shatrughan Chaudhary, defender Navin Gurung, midfielder Aakash Budha Magar, Kritish Ratna Chunju, Sudeep Gurung and forward Sushil Rai. The preliminary squad includes 5 goalkeepers, 6 defenders, 16 midfielders and 7 forwards. Rohit Chand, who has been playing professional football in Indonesia, has not been included in the preliminary squad. Likewise, Navayug Shrestha, who was injured during the SAFF Championship, also did not make it to the preliminary squad.

34-member preliminary squad:

Goalkeeper: Bishal Shrestha, Deep Karki, Kiran Kumar Limbu, Shatrughan Chaudhary, Tikendra Thapa

Defender: Ananta Tamang, Devendra Tamang, Dinesh Rajbanshi, Gautam Shrestha, Navin Gurung, Suman Aryal

Midfielder: Aayush Ghalan, Aakash Budha Magar, Arik Bista, Dinesh Henjan, Kamal Thapa, Kritish Ratna Chunju, Nitin Thapa, Pujan Uparkoti, Santosh Tamang, Subash Gurung, Sujal Shrestha, Suraj Thakuri, Tej Tamang, Darshan Gurung, Bishal Rai

Forward: Ashish Lama, Anjan Bista, Bimal Gharti Magar, Manish Dangi, Suman Lama, Sunil Bal, Sushil Rai

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