India to play practice game against Bhutan on Aug 13

"We have a squad of 23 players who have not trained for the last two to three months. A lot of them are youngsters and it just gives us a chance to give these boys a bit more of international experience," said coach Stephen Constantine.

The Indian squad practices in New Delhi ahead of its unofficial tie against Bhutan.   -  Special Arrangement

Indian will play Bhutan in an unofficial practice match on August 13. The 23-member squad is presently sweating it out in a pre-season camp in New Delhi.

Speaking to www.the-aiff.com coach Stephen Constantine said that it was “important to get a game at such a short notice.”

“We are a bit disappointed that the tour to USA didn’t happen. In such a situation it was very important for us to get a game but we managed to get one at such a short notice,” he said.

“We have a squad of 23 players who have not trained for the last two to three months. A lot of them are youngsters and it just gives us a chance to give these boys a bit more of international experience.”

“We have a lot of guys who have been knocking at the door to get in and with Bengaluru FC and East Bengal having not released their payers, it provided the opportunity for some other people to get some exposure.”

“We have said all along that we are trying to build a bigger pool of players. There is a fierce competition for places and I think this game is important in the development of young players,” added Constantine.

Meanwhile, some players and staff were hit by a bout of food poisoning on Wednesday (August 3, 2016). The squad has been practicing in Delhi since July 26.

Bhutan is preparing for its qualifiers for the Asian Cup. “The players in Bhutan are presently playing in their league. They will have a lot of games under their belt,” Constantine mentioned.

  Dugout videos