Srinagar: The current top footballer of Kashmir, Danish Farooq has been included in the Indian football team for Bahrain friendlies as the final squad was announced on Monday.
Danish, who was earlier included in the 38 member India camp for the Bahrain tour, has found his place in the final 25-member team announced by Indian football team Head Coach Igor Stimac.
The Indian team is scheduled to play Bahrain on March 23, and Belarus on March 26.
In the team, seven players including Danish have got the maiden call up.
“We are playing Bahrain and Belarus, and they are better-ranked sides than us. But whatever the rankings are, you need to do it on the pitch. Bahrain will show us where we stand. We will give chances to some young players who have played well in the Hero ISL this season to see how much we can use them for the qualifiers in June,” Head Coach Igor Stimac was quoted as saying in an AIFF statement.
The matches are a part of the team’s preparation for the final round of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifying matches which will be held in Kolkata from June 8 onwards. India has been clubbed in Group D along with Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia.
Danish Farooq who this season played in Indian Super League (ISL) for Bengaluru FC has impressed the Indian National football team coach with his all-round performance.
Danish this year was one of the star players for the Bengaluru side in ISL. He not only was a goal scorer but played his part in assists as well. Danish was also active in assisting the defence when needed and with his commitment and all-round performance he has impressed one and all. In the 17 matches played, Danish scored three goals and had two assists. He was a regular in the starting XI of the club.
Danish has termed his selection in the Indian team as a dream come true and said that he will try his best to seal his spot in the team.
Danish has expressed his joy at getting selected for the team and has termed it as a dream come true.
“Thanks to Allah, it is a dream come true for me. It is a dream that I had always wanted to achieve. Today my dream has come true and now I am one step away from playing for India,” Danish said.
Danish thanked all his supporters who have been supporting him over the years.
“Without the support of my parents and supporters, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve all this,” he added.
Before playing in ISL for Bengaluru FC, Danish played for Real Kashmir FC in I-League. He is an employee of J&K Bank and has been groomed in its football academy.
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Seriton Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Hormipam Ruivah, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Chinglensana Singh, Subhasish Bose, Akash Mishra, Roshan Singh.
Midfielders: Bipin Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Pronay Halder, Jeakson Singh, Brandon Fernandes, VP Suhair, Danish Farooq, Yasir Mohammad, Aniket Jadhav.
Forwards: Manvir Singh, Liston Colaco, Rahim Ali.