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Mahesh Gawli takes over as India Colts head coach, succeeding Shanmugam Venkatesh

The AIFF announced on Sunday that former India defender Mahesh Gawli has been named head coach of the Under-20 men’s team. Gawli will take over for Shanmugam Venkatesh, who resigned when India was denied a spot in the AFC U-20 Asian Cup.

Mahesh Gawli takes over as India Colts head coach, succeeding Shanmugam Venkatesh

The All India Football Federation technical committee, under the direction of IM Vijayan, made this choice. Mahesh Gawli, a former defender for the Blue Tigers, was suggested by the committee to take over as head coach of the India U-20 men’s national team, according to the AIFF.

Gawli will keep his position as Igor Stimac’s assistant in the senior side in addition to leading the U-20 team, it was noted. Venkatesh’s team finished third in their group, behind Australia and Iraq, and was eliminated from the U-20 Asian Cup Qualifiers in Kuwait City.

The U-20 team, who won the SAFF Championship prior to the competition, lost to Iraq (five-time Asian champions) 2-4 to start their campaign. They lost to Australia 1-4 and finished the tournament by defeating Kuwait’s hosts 2-1. Oinam Bembem Devi and Harjinder Singh (senior), both former India captains, have been hired by the AIFF to serve as the men’s and women’s scouting chiefs, respectively.

In an effort to be ready for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023, it was also decided to send the U-17 men’s national team on exposure tours to higher-ranked nations including Belgium, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Santosh Kashyap, Vivek Nagul, and Hilal Rasool were also on the committee’s short list for the position of technical director.

The three will be interrogated, and by November 15 the executive committee will get the recommendation. Kalyan Chaubey, the president of the AIFF, Shaji Prabhakaran, and Sunando Dhar, the deputy secretary general, were among those present at the meeting.

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