Coach Sti­mac calls Anas out of re­tire­ment

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

New Delhi: In­dian foot­ball head coach Igor Sti­mac has called de­fender Anas Edathodika out of his re­tire­ment to be in­cluded among 35 prob­a­bles for next month’s Interconti­nental Cup in a clear move to ad­dress the team’s woes in cen­tral de­fence.

In the re­cent King’s Cup match against Cu­ra­cao in Thai­land, the In­dian cen­tral de­fence messed up to con­cede three goals in the space of 18 min­utes in the first half to lose the match 1-3, with Rahul Bheke be­ing the main cul­prit.

Bheke was drafted in to pair with San­desh Jhin­gan at the heart of the de­fence after the re­tire­ment of Anas, who had part­nered with Jhin­gan ear­lier for two years.

The 35 prob­a­bles will as­sem­ble at the Mum­bai Foot­ball Arena from June 25 for the Interconti­nental Cup prepara­tory camp.

The 32-year-old Anas, who an­nounced his re­tire­ment from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball after the AFC Asian Cup in Jan­uary, said he re­ceived a mes­sage from coach Sti­mac, after which he de­cided to come out of in­ter­na­tional re­tire­ment.

“Coach Sti­mac has shown

faith in me, and it’s my turn to re­pay him. The coach mes­saged me to join the up­com­ing camp. Hon­estly, I was taken aback. Later Venky bhai (as­sis­tant coach Venkatesh Shan­mugam) shared all de­tails, and I just can’t wait to join the camp,” Anas, who has played for In­dian Su­per League sides Delhi Dy­namos, Jamshed­pur FC and Ker­ala Blasters, said.

“The re­spect I earned while play­ing for the Na­tional Team is some­thing which has pushed me to chal­lenge my­self again,” he was quoted as say­ing by the of­fi­cial web­site of the All In­dia Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion.

The 35 prob­a­bles will be pruned down fur­ther, most likely to 23, but Anas said he does not care whether he makes it to the fi­nal In­dia team for the Interconti­nental Cup or not. —PTI

Anas Edathodika

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