OLYMPIC football team head coach Samir Ben Chammam named a squad of 27 players last night that will prepare for Bahrain’s participation in one of the most prestigious international friendly competitions taking place next month.
The kingdom’s junior internationals are set to play in the 2019 Toulon Tournament, also known as the Festival International “Espoirs” – Tournoi Maurice Revello, from June 1 to 15 across six host cities in the southern French region of Provence.
The Bahrainis are joining the event as part of their preparations for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship, which is scheduled to take place in January of next year and which also acts as the Asian qualifiers for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The team named by Ben Chammam is set to be led by the likes of Mohammed Al Hardan, Mohammed Marhoon, Sayed Hashim Isa, Ahmed Saleh, Ahmed Al Sherooqi and Ahmed Bu Ghammar, to name a few.
The rest of the roster includes Hussain Jameel, Yousif Habeeb, Ahmed Habeeb, Abdulaziz Hussain, Ammar Mohammed, Sayed Ibrahim Alawi, Ali Hassan, Sayed Mohammed Ameen, Hassan Al Karrani, Musab Omar, Jassim Khlaif, Hussain Al Khayyat, Jassim Noor, Adnan Fawaz, Hamad Shamsan, Abdulrahman Al Ahmadi, Mohammed Al Shamsi, Hassan Madan, Abbas Al Asfoor, Abdulaziz Khalid and Anwar Ahmed.
The nationals are scheduled to resume training for the tournament tomorrow at the Bahrain Football Association pitches in Riffa.
Bahrain are one of 12 teams set to compete in the Toulon Tournament. The others are China, Japan and Qatar from Asia; France, Portugal, Ireland and defending champions England from Europe; and Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Guatemala from South America.
The Toulon Tournament plays with two 40-minute halves. For the first round, the teams will be divided into three four-team groups. The three top teams of each group as well as the best second placed team will advance to the semi-finals. Meanwhile, the other teams will play another game to determine their final ranking in the competition.
The Bahrainis are in Group ‘C’ along with China, Mexico and Ireland. They play their first game on June 3 against the Mexicans, and then return to the pitch on June 6 against China. The Bahrainis then play their final group game against Ireland on June 9.
Group A includes Chile, England, Japan and Portugal while Group B features Brazil, France, Guatemala and Qatar.