Goalkeeper Midhun to lead Kerala in Santosh Trophy

Santosh Trophy

Goalkeeper Midhun V will lead a new-look Kerala team in the South Zone qualifiers of the Santosh Trophy National Football Championship.

The 20-member squad announced on Wednesday features seven Under-21 players. Goalkeeper Sachin S Suresh, defenders Ajin Tom and Alex Saji, winger Roshan V Gigy, midfielder Hrishi Dutt and strikers Vishnu and Emil Benny are the U-21 players in the squad.

Thirteen of the 20 players are making their debut appearance in Santosh Trophy. The squad features just two players - Midhun and Alex Saji - who were part of the campaign last year. 

Six-time former champions Kerala are being coached by Bino George. Bino has coached Gokulam Kerala FC in the past and was also the team's technical director.

"Though most of the players are relatively new to Santosh Trophy, they are quite experienced having turned up for Gokulam Kerala, SBI, FC Kerala, Kerala Blasters and Chenniayin FC," said Bino.

The South Zone qualifiers will be held in Kozhikode from November 5.

Hosts Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra are in Group A, while Group B consists of Karnataka, Puducherry and Telengana.

Kerala take on Andhra in their opening game on November 5 and meet Tamil Nadu on November 9.

The group toppers will qualify for the main round to be held in Mizoram from January 10, 2020.

Kerala had failed to qualify for the main round last season.

The squad: Midhun V (captain), Sachin S Suresh (both goalkeepers); Ajin Tom, Alex Saji, Vibin Thomas, Sanju G, Sreerag V G, Jishnu Balakrishnan (all defenders); Hrishi Dutt, Jijo Joseph, Rishad, Akhil (all midfielders), Roshan Gigy, Leon Augustin, Tahir Zaman, Jithin M S (all wingers); Shihadh Neliparamban, Vishnu, Emil Benny, Mousoof Nizan (all strikers).

Head coach: Bino George

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