KATHMANDU, August 1: A 24-men-squad for Japan tour has been announced on Tuesday. The head coach of national football team Gyotuku Koji announced the name of the team member. The former Japanese player Koji has retained all the members of the squad who had played against Yemen in Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2019 qualifications.
Goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu and midfielder Rohit Chand who are horning their skills in Maldives and Indonesia respectively are noticeably absentees in the Nepali squad.
Nepal will kick off the tour taking on the U-23 team of Japanese first division outfit Gamba Osaka on August 13. Three days later, Nepal will face Kwansei Gakuin University while in the third match it will compete against regional football team Amities Sports Club on August on August 17.
Likewise in the third match on August 18, Nepal will face Hanan University and later it will wrap up the tour playing against another Japanese first division club Vissel Kobe’s U-18 team.
As per the invitation of Japanese Foreign Ministry and Japan Football Federation (JFA), the Nepali team is flying to Japan on August 11. JFA has been helping Nepali football as two Japanese nationals Takeda Chiaki and Koji have been working as technical director and head coach of the national team, respectively.
JFA and Japanese Foreign Ministry are managing the Japan tour for Nepali team upon the request of Chiaki and Koji. JFA and Japanese Foreign Ministry will bear all the expenses of Nepali team for the Japan tour.
The tour is set to act as a preparation for the upcoming match against Tajikistan on September 5 in Kathmandu for the final match of AFC Asian Qualification of Group F.
Six officials including head coach Koji, assistant Raju Kaji Shakya and goalkeeping coach Ujjwal Manandhar will accompany the squad. “Since our national team does not get chance to play enough friendly matches, this tour is going to be valuable for us as we can learn a lot while playing against Japanese teams,” Koji told Republica.
Goalkeepers: Bikesh Kuthu, Bishal Shrestha, Alan Neupane
Defenders: Biraj Maharjan, Ananta Tamang, Man Bahadur Tamang, Kamal Shrestha, Debendra Tamang, Jitendra Karki, Bimal Basnet, Rajendra Rawal and Dinesh Rajbanshi
Midfielders: Bishal Rai, Heman Gurung, Bikram Lama, Anjan Bista, Sujal Shrestha, Sunil Bal and Hemant Thapa Magar
Forwards: Bimal Gharti Magar, Nawayug Shrestha, Bharat Khawas, Anil Gurung and Suman Lama