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Santosh Trophy: Coaches consider semis in Riyadh as an exciting challenge for players

As the bandwagon moves to Saudi Arabia for the knockout rounds of the 76th National Football Championships for the Santosh Trophy, the four coaches say it will be a unique and exciting experience for the players.

Teams from Punjab, Meghalaya, Services and Karnataka have qualified for the semifinals, which will be played on Wednesday.

The four teams reached Riyadh over Sunday and Monday and are getting ready for the all-important semifinals.

After landing in Riyad, MG Ramachandran, Head Coach of the Services team said his players are very excited to get this opportunity. "The whole team is very excited to be a part of this historic tournament. We have come prepared to give our best in the semi-finals and eye the trophy next. We want to go home with our prize."

"It’s a wonderful feeling. Everyone is excited and gearing up for the semi-final match. I can see that the boys are going to experience something very different," said Khlain Syiemlieh, head coach of the Meghalaya team

Meanwhile, Karnataka head coach Ravi Babu Raju believes that this tournament will serve as an important step forward for the development of the young players.

"This is a very important tournament and we are delighted to be here. It’s the first time ever that any team will be playing the Hero Santosh Trophy on foreign soil which is surely a historic moment. It’s time to show what everyone is capable of," he said.

Punjab head coach Harpreet Saini said his boys were focused on the semifinal challenge.

"Everyone is so thrilled to have come to Riyadh and participate in the Hero Santosh Trophy. It’s the time to be focussed on the job, what we are here for," he said on Monday evening.



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