Soosai, Dhanpal, Nandha Kumar gearing up for new challenge under Stimac

After being named in the list of probables for the camp ahead of the King's Cup, Michael Soosairaj, Dhanpal Ganesh and Nandha Kumar expressed their eagerness to work with the new India football coach, Igor Stimac.

Dhanpal Ganesh last played for the Indian senior team in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in Myanmar in 2017.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Newly appointed Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac announced a list of 37 probables for India's preparatory camp for the King's Cup slated to be held in Buriram, Thailand.

Tamil Nadu trio Michael Soosairaj, Dhanpal Ganesh and Nandha Kumar, included int he list of probables, are keen to work with Stimac.

Speaking to Sportstar, Soosairaj said he was expecting to be in the probables once the new coach took charge.

“I am very happy. I can't express my feelings. I knew that I will be in the probables when the new coach took over,” said the 24-year-old midfielder, adding, “But all the 37 players in the probables are top-class players. Howsoever the team is picked, the final 23 will be very good.”

Dhanpal, who last played for the Indian senior team in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Myanmar in 2017, said he is keen to work with the new coach.

“I am really looking forward to the preparatory camp [in New Delhi] under the new coach. It will be a new system. More importantly, I have to put in my best to ensure I am selected in the final squad. So my focus will be solely on that,” he said.

“I must take this opportunity to thank the Chennaiyin FC head Coach John Gregory and the club management for having faith in me. And I would like to specially thank our Sports Scientist Dr. Niall Clark for giving me the best rehabilitation possible along with the Centre for Sports Science in Chennai.

“I've made a relatively speedy return from the knee injury. And also my family for always standing by my side and providing the utmost support. I wish to make them proud by hopefully wearing the national colors soon.”

The midfielder thanked his employer Income Tax. “I would also like to thank the Income Tax Department in Chennai, where I am an officer, for their cooperation and support. Their backing has also helped me a lot.

For Nandha Kumar, who has played in the Indian u-23 team in a friendly against Singapore in 2017, said it was a dream come true. “I am thrilled. I will work hard to be in the final squad. To play with Sunil Chhetri, who is my most favourite player, is something I will cherish.”