Two of Dempo’s brightest young talents- Brian Mascarenhas and Romeo Fernandes have been short listed for the preliminary registration of the AFC U-22 2013 qualifiers which will be held from June 23rd to July 3rd, 2012 in seven centralized venues, which will be announced later.
The official draw for the AFC U-22 Asian Cup Qualifiers which took place at AFC House on 14th of February saw India being placed in a tough group comprising of UAE, Iraq, Oman, Turkmenistan and Lebanon.
Forty-one Member Associations have entered the fray to grab 15 spots in the final competition to be played in 2013.
The teams were divided into six groups of six teams each and one group of five. They will play one-round league format and the top two teams will qualify for the tournament proper along with the best third-placed team in all the groups. The hosts of the Finals will get a direct berth.
Group A: UAE, Iraq, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Lebanon
Group B: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka
Group C: Bahrain, Iran, Tajikistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Maldives
Group D: Uzbekistan, Jordan, Yemen, Bangladesh, Nepal
Group E: Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Macau, Timor Leste
Group F: DPR Korea, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia
Group G: Korea Republic, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Chinese Taipei, The Philippines
Speaking exclusively to demposportsclub.com, Brain Mascarenhas and Romeo Fernandes were ecstatic at their selection and said that they would give their best while playing for the country. They were also grateful to their coaches at Dempo- Mr. Armando Colaco. Mr. Mauricio Afonso and Mr. Mathew D’Costa for moulding them into players being worthy of anIndiaberth.
Brian hailing from Nuvem plays in left half position and has been touted as a replacement for Clifford Miranda. He was formerly with Churchill Brothers juniors and joined Dempo at the start of the 2011-12 season. He has started regularly this year for Dempo in the Goa League and scored a wonder goal from 40 yards out against Calangute Association in the Goa Professional League. He has also made his I-league debut for Dempo this season against Churchill Brothers.
Romeo Fernandes hailing from Assolna, is a versatile midfielder and can play on the right of midfield as well as the centre of the park. He has been with the Dempo junior team for the past two years and also played for Margao Sports Club in the GFA First Division League last year helping the side gain promotion to the Pro League this season. Romeo has also made his I-League debut this year against Churchill Brothers- coming on as a substitute in the second half but it is his performances for Dempo in the Goa League that has made everyone stand up and take notice. The young midfielder playing on the right has caught everyone’s attention with superb performances.