India prepares for first matches under new coach

Thirty Indian players took part in the training session with newly-appointed coach Bob Houghton at the Indian national football camp to select the national team for a four-nation tournament to be held in British Columbia, Canada, next month. The 19-23 July tournament, organised by the Vancouver White Cap club, includes India, China's under-20 team and Cardiff football club. Salgaocar caoch Savio Medeira and Dempo Assisant Coach Maurico Afonso were seen assisting the Houghton during the training session, which lasted for about two hours. Ex-Goa coach Marcus Pacheco handled the goalkeeper's job.

Indian captain Baichung Bhutia was absent due to his ongoing World Cup television commitments but is expected to join later, sources of The Hindu said. Alvito DaCunha, Climax Lawrerence, Abhishek Yadav, Habibur Rehman Mondal and Mahesh Gawli did not take the field due to injury, while N S Manju, who was down earlier due to typhoid also watched the proceedings from the bench. Tomba Singh and Kalyan Chaubey also were not present with the latter known to be in Germany to watch the World Cup.

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