The Sri Lanka National Football team will travel to Cambodia on a five day tour which includes a friendly against the Cambodia National team.

This will be the first international friendly that Sri Lanka will be facing in 10 months.

Apart from the friendly, the squad will take part in two practice sessions.

“We started practices on the 4th of June where we’ve had around 4 months of practice. But during that time it was only for three days as we had to release the players for the Champions League on the weekend. We started residential training a month back,” Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Head Coach Dudley Steinwall added.

“The Team is in good shape when it comes to offense and defense. However, Gnanaruban Vinoth, my main striker, will not be travelling because of an injury. But hope he plays in the upcoming Solidarity Cup,” he added.

Sri Lanka has once again opted for a mostly U23 side apart from veterans Sanka Danushka, Dumidu Hettiarachchi, Bandara Warakagoda, Chathuranga Sanjeewa and Nipuna Bandara.

The squad includes a few exciting debutants including Sri Lanka U19 caps, Afam Akram, Dilip Peiris and Danushka Madushanka. Sri Lanka will hope the debutants rise to the occasion, especially the prolific goal scorer Dilip Peiris who will likely replace Gnanaruban’s in the starting XI.

“We had a lot of things to work on when I took over. Sri Lanka club standards are not at the best level. Players don’t know their job and how to play in offense and defense. It is because we don’t have football at a professional level.

I’ve had to do a lot of basics with the team and this, at national level, is not the place to do those. This is an elite process. We have another 3 weeks for the Solidarity Cup so I hope to rectify our shortcomings,” Steinwall talked about his arduous task.

“We had a couple of friendlies at home but this will be the first international after 10 months. We need to play a lot of international friendlies so that players get that exposure,” he lamented.

Sri Lanka has appointed a new captain as well with the former Sri Lanka U23 captain Sujan Perera taking over the reins from Mohamed Rifnaz. Sujan plays professional football for Club Eagles in Maldives.

“This is the 2nd year I am playing in Maldives. Can get a lot more experience compared to Sri Lanka, We play around 35 matches in the 9 month season.

We have been doing well. We were placed 3rd in the league and got into the quarter final of the fa cup last year and his year too we are in 3rd place right now,” Sujan talked about his career with the Club Eagles.

Sujan believes playing club football abroad and with more international matches, players as well as the national team will benefit.

“We need a lot of international exposure when it comes to friendlies as well as our players going abroad and playing. If that happens it will be good for the future of Sri Lanka,” he went onto say.

Steinwall is confident that Sujan will play and lead the team to the best of his abilities.

“Sujan is very experienced, playing professional in Maldives, has good leadership qualities, so I hope he’ll do well,” Steinwall added.

I am proud of representing and captaining the country. It is a dream come true and hoping to give my best in the future,” Sujan stated about his captaincy.

9th Oct Cambodia v Sri Lanka – kick off 6.30pm (Cambodia Time), 5.00pm (SL Time) – Phnon Penh, Cambodia


Sujan Perera © – Mohamed Rifnaz – Sanka Danushka – Dumidu Hettiarachchi – Bandara Warakagoda – Edison Figurado – Subash Madushan – Prabath Ruwan – Amith Kumara – Asikur Rahuman – Kaveesh Fernando – Chathuranga Sanjeewa – Dilip Peiris – Chalana Chameera – Nipuna Bandara – Lakshitha Jayathunga – Kavindu Ishan – Danushka Madushanka – Afam Akram – Zarwan Johar – Gnanaruban Vinoth

  • Head Coach – Dudley Steinwall
  • Assistant Coach – Devasagayam Rajamani
  • Goalkeeping Coach – Mahinda Galagedara
  • Manager – Mohamed Rameez
  • Physio – S. Silva