Gangtok (PTI): Sikkim will miss the services of India captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who is doing national duty, during the 62nd National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy to be held in Jammu and Kashmir from May 25.
Three more key players, besides Bhutia, would not be available for the same reason, SFA General Secretary Menla Ethenpa said today.
The three are East Bengal player Nirmal Chhetri and two members of national under-16 team -- Ashish Chhetri and Bigendra Rai.
Keeping these limitations in mind, the Sikkim Football Association has picked a 20-member squad, Ethenpa said adding the boys should do well in the national football tournament as it would be held in similar weather condition as prevailed back home.
Sikkim has been drawn with Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Chandigarh in Pool A and play their lung opener with Tamil Nadu on May 26.
A five-day training camp for the state team was held at Paljor Stadium recently.
The squad: Bimal Bagdas, Karma Tsering Lepcha, Tashi Rapden, Rupen Rai, Karma Lhendup, Robin Gurung, Sonam Bhutia, Don Tshering Lepcha, Sagar Rai, Rohit Ansari, Milan Lepcha, Sanju Pradhan, Tshering Lepcha, Kiran Tamang, Ong Tshering Lepcha, Sisil Karthak, Engphuhang Subba, Bikash Jairu, Nim Tshering Lepcha and Bir Bahadur Pradhan.
Coach: Thupden RapgyalManager: Arjun Rai