Sri Lanka determined to do well in at AFC U 22
A squad of 20 young soccerites led by main striker Nipuna Devinda Bandara of Air Force will take wing on Wednesday to Saudi Arabia to take part in the inaugural AFC U 22 Championship 2013 qualifier soccer tournament. Sri Lanka is placed in a tough group along with Kyrgystan. Pakistan. Palestine, hosts Saudi Arabia and Syria. Sri Lankan coach Sampath Perera said this tournament was going to be a big test and challenge for the youngsters who would be running for places in the senior team in the near future.
"If you take into consideration the rankings we are placed low and our team can be matched only with Pakistan and Kyrgystan,'' said Perera.
He added that after the one-all draw with Maldives in a friendly international played in Male recently, the guys were well prepared and confident to put up a better show.
"My boys are ready to give their maximum and that’s what I am looking for,'' said the coach.
The team that has been selected looks a well balanced one and one hopes that this tournament will bring in better results even if they fail to qualify for the final round. Other than three players (K.G.R. Sanjaya Guruge, F.B.S. Chaturanga Fernando and U. D. Dharshan Tharanga) who are sidelined due to injury the others named in the squad are the same players who toured Maldives. Don Sujan Perera the custodian from Kalutara Park SC has been named the vice-captain of the team. Altogether 41 teams are participating in eight groups with the D group matches in Nepal (where only five teams are in the fray) has already begun and the group E matches are scheduled for next month. All the other group qualifiers begin on June 23.
Sri Lanka will begin their campaign with a match against Palestine at King Fahd International Stadium on the opening day (June 23).
Sri Lanka's other matches are:
25 June 2012 20:45 vs PAKISTAN at Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium
28 June 2012 20:45 vs SYRIA at Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium
30 June 2012 18:00 vs SAUDI ARABIA at King Fahd International Stadium
03 July 2012 20:45 vs KYRGYZSTAN at King Fahd International Stadium
Under 22 National Football Team
- L. A. Nipuna D. Bandara (Captain) SL Air Force Forward
- L. H. Kavindu Ishan SL Air Force Forward
- F. P. P. A. Emmanuel Rohan SL Air Force Defender
- E. N. Harsha Fernando Don Bosco Defender
- E. A. Chathuranga Sanjeewa SL Navy Forward
- M. N. M. Ramalan Saunders Defender
- A. G. Eranga Prasad Saunders Defender
- M. Chalana Chameera Saunders/ Haylese Mid Fielder
- Hashan Chandraratne Sisu Mid Fielder
- M. S. Mohamed Farhad Blue Star Mid Fielder
- A.W A. Tharindu Eranga Ratnam/Dimo Mid Fielder
- M. M. M. Sameer Renown Defender
- M. K. M. Hakeem Renown Defender
- H. Peter Charles SL Navy Defender
- W. S.T.D. Sujan Perera (Vice Captain) Kalutara Park Goalkeeper
- P. D. Dasun P. Paranavithane SL Air Force Goalkeeper
- A. Manjula Prasanna Police Mid Fielder
- J. A. M. Vaseem Negombo Youth Goalkeeper
- K. D. Madushan De Silva SL Army Forward
- A. L. Mohamed Aleem Java Lane/Traveller Mid Fielder
- SP Vasantha Wickremasinghe – Manager
- Sampath Perera – Head Coach
- Dudley Steinwall – Asst. Coach
- Lalith Weerasinghe – Goalkeeper Coach
- S.N.P. K. Silva – Masseur
- By Tony Mike