By Asanka Gammanpila
The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) has named its under-22 national soccer pool ahead for the AFC U-22 Asian Cup Qualifiers that will take place from June 23 to July 3 in seven centralized venues.
It has 27 players to train with national coach Sampath Perera. Eight of the players have represented Sri Lanka at senior and junior level before.
Nipuna Devinda Bandara, Kavindu Ishan, Peter Charles, Sujan Perera and Dasun Paranavithna have played for the senior national team while M.V.M. Ramlan, Eranga Prasad and M.M.M. Sameer have played for the Junior national under-23 team last year.
But coach Sampath Perera has one worry with Sri Lanka drawn into a tough group which does not sound encouraging to him.
“It is too difficult for average teams like Sri Lanka to start a tournament with tough opponents. Syria very recently beat Australia and Japan”, said Perera.
“We formed a pool with a lot of freshers, but I’ll do my best to do something different”.
The Sri Lanka squad is expected to play a few practices matches before Perera can lay down his game plan with the new side.
Sri Lanka is drawn with Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, Palestine and Kyrgyzstan in group “B” while 36 teams are in fray for the championship in six groups.
Pool: Nipuna Devinda Bandara (Gampola), P.R.M. Murshad (Panadura), M.M.M. Nishad (Colombo), K.P.R.S. Guruge( Nawalapitiya), Kavindu Ishan (Matara), B.S.C. Fernando (Kalutara), P.A.E. Fernando (Wennappuwa), Harsha Fernando (Negombo), E.A.C. Sanjeewa (Colombo), M.V.M. Ramian (Colombo), Eranga Prasad (Colombo), Chalana Sameera (Colombo), I.M. Imran (Colombo), Buddika Sandaruwan (Colombo), M. Prasad (Kalutara), M.T.M. Zamil (Mawanella), Tharindu Eranga (Gampaha), M.M.M. Sameer ( Colombo), Manjula Prasannna (Galle), Robinson Lemonton (Mannar), Dharshana Thranga ( Ampara), M.S.M. Hakeem (Colombo), Tharindu Madusanka (Kalutara), Peter Charles (Negombo), Sujan Perera (Aluthgama), Dasun Paranavithana (Gampola) and Prabath Ruwan (Kandana)