Mohamed Shaheel, Mohamed Rikaz will captain the Sri Lanka U16 side at the South Asia – Japan Football Exchange Four Nations tournament.
The tournament will include the U16 sides from Japan, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The tournament is part of the South Asia – Japan U16 Football Exchange Program. The tournament will be held from 11th-14th of March.
32 players have been selected for the Sri Lanka U16 pool for the upcoming U16 Four Nations tournament which would be held in March 2017.
ThePapare.com understands that since the standard of the Japanese U16 players are above the rest of the teams the organizers have allowed the remaining three countries to include 5 U19 players into the squad.
Hence the likes of Ishan Danusha, Mohamed Shaheel, Mohamed Ishan, Mahendran Dinesh and Jude Suman have been included into the squad.
The U19 players in the other three teams are only allowed for the Japan game, where Mohamed Shaheel will captain while for the rest of the matches it will be Mohamed Rikaz who will captain the Sri Lanka U16’s.
“We mainly focused on the Japan match which will be our first match. We will mostly be defending in the Japan match as they are a very strong side. Defensive tactics will be important in that game. Japan is a well drilled side,” Head Coach of Sri Lanka U16 Suzuki Chikashi said exclusively to ThePapare.com.
“We have four key players with goalkeeper being very important and the defenders. Dinesh (Mahendran) is doing well as the goalkeeper. Shaheel and Ishan have too done well in training as center-backs,” he went onto add about his key defensive players.
“When we have the ball counter attacking will be most important. When we are counter attacking Murshid (Mohamed) will be someone we will look to revolve our attacks around,” Chikashi added on his attacking options.
Apart from the Japan match Sri Lanka will be gunning for wins against Nepal and Bhutan.
“Japan is the best team compared to Bhutan and Nepal. We will be using different systems for those matches. We will be attacking more in those games.”
Sri Lanka also has the services of assistant coach Mohamed Ajwad who holds an AFC A license.
“Japan is the challenge for us. We focused mainly on fitness and counter attacking other than the defensive tactics for two weeks,” Sri Lankan Assistant Coach Mohamed Ajwad added.
“From the U16 players Mushfir, Sahan, Chamath (Kodithuwakku) and Rikaz are improving well and doing really well in training,” Ajwad praised his up and coming U16 players.
Ajwad also talked about the benefits gained from the Japanese coach.
“We are getting new things into training and tactics. Players are gaining something new at every training session.”
Sri Lanka Squad
Mohamed Ishan – Mahendran Dinesh – Jude Suman – Mohamed Shaheel © – Mohamed Afran – Shabeer Razooniya – Praneeth Shaminda – Mohamed Mushfir – Pakianathan Rexon – Mohamed Faizer – Mohamed Murshid – Aakib Faizal – Vikum Avishka – Mohamed Umar – Mohamed Rikaz © – Mohamed Ashiq – Mohamed Shifan – H.M.J.Chamod – Chamath Kodithuwakku – Sandeepa Waas – Ravikumar Thanujan – D.K.V.Sulakshana – Dinesh Suren – Abdulla Faris – Nabeel Nizam – Lushane De Silva – Ishan Danusha – Mohamed Sahan
Suzuki Chikashi (Head Coach) – Mamoru Nakano (Assistant Coach) – Mohamed Ajwad (Assistant Coach) – Sampath Bandara (Goalkeeping Coach) – Nalaka Dissanayaka (Manager) – Prasanna Hettiarachchi (Physio)