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    ISL 2015: A Look At The Teams Shaping Up (Part 1)


    With the recently concluded ISL player’s draft and auction, all the ISL teams have started to take shape. The auction was an indicator to each team’s core strength which will be formed by the Indian players as all the teams look to get their hands on the second edition of the coveted trophy.

    So in this article series, we take a look at how all the teams assemble as a unit and which team has got an edge over the others in major departments.


    All teams must have a minimum of 22 players on their rooster with one marquee player, 8 other international players and 13 national players, with two of them compulsory to be from the developmental category (U-21). These 22 players can be mix of new bought players along with the ones retained by teams subject to adhering to the retaining criteria, as set by the governing body.

    1.     MUMBAI CITY FC


    Manager Nicolas Anelka
    Marquee Player Nicolas Anelka
    Indian Auction Players Sunil Chhetri


    Mumbai City FC had a disappointing last season, which ended with them finishing 7th on the table. However, with the new changes of personnel, it must be said that Mumbai look one of the strongest team on paper right now.

    epa04793818 Indian football player Sunil Chhetri in action during a World Cup Qualifier match against Oman, in Bangalore, India 11 June 2015.  EPA/JAGADEESH NV

    Mumbai managed to outbid all other teams to procure the signature of Indian team captain Sunil Chhetri for 1.20 crore. The talisman not only brings skills and goals to the camp, he also brings loads of experience and can be an important figure in the dressing room.


    Not to mention the prospect of him and Anelka playing together in a strike partnership looks mouth-watering already. Mumbai went into the player’s draft having to do the most amount of business and they have gone about by doing it reasonably well. Mumbai will also have the services of Subrata Paul, one of the finest Indian goalkeepers. With 8 more international players to come, Mumbai are sure to outdo the performances they put in the last season of the ISL.

     2.     FC PUNE CITY


    Manager David Platt
    Marquee Player To be announced
    Indian Auction Players Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Jackichand Singh


    Another team that failed to create any sort of real impact on the first edition on the ISL was FC Pune City.

    However FC Pune went all guns blazing in this year’s edition of the player’s auction to set that right and ended up signing two real midfield talents in Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Jackichand Singh for 1.05 crore and 45 Lakh respectively.


    Lyngdoh was named the midfielder of the season at this year’s I-League competition and he brings a lot of creativity to the midfield.

    Jackichand is a pacy winger who can play on either flanks and with his pace and dribbling ability is most likely to be a handful for opposition defenses.


    In other news, Pune also managed to get on board David Platt, ex U-21 coach for the England team. Platt also has the experience of working under Roberto Mancini, at Manchester City, not to mention his illustrious career as a footballer.

    FC Pune city seem to be on the right track for in their preparation to this year’s ISL.

    3.     CHENNAIYIN FC


    Manager Marco Materazzi
    Marquee Player Elano Blumer
    Indian Auction Players Karanjit Singh, Thoi Singh


    Chennaiyin FC had  one hell of a roller coaster campaign last season and they seem all set on another such outing.

    Chennaiyin unlike some other teams decided to retain most of their core squad from last year, with the familiar faces of Elano, Pelissari, and Bernard Mendy still part of their ranks.

    Elano Blumer of Chennaiyin FC celebrates his goal for Chennai during match 12 of the Hero Indian Super League between The Delhi Dynamos FC and Chennaiyin FC held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, India on the 25th October 2014. Photo by:  Ron Gaunt/ ISL/ SPORTZPICS

    Chennai also now will have at their disposal the services of two excellent goalkeepers in Apoula Edel and Karanjit Singh who they bought from Kolkata and the player’s auction for 60 lakh respectively.


    Thoi Singh is also a good edition to the squad at 86 lakh as he adds depth to centre midfield postion. Jeje will also be a player to watch out, as the national team striker looks to build on his performances from last season.

    Chennai look the most balanced as of now, and will have lesser amounts of activity of players moving in as their squad is beginning to take shape already.



    Manager Peter Taylor
    Marquee Player To be announced
    Indian Auction Players None


    Kerala Blasters were unlucky last year as a last minute striker from Mohammed Rafique brought their campaign to sad ending as they finished runners-up behind Kolkata in the inaugural edition of the ISL.

    The team has undergone a revamp since then with David James not returning as head coach this time around, and the baton of manager being handed over England U-20 head coach, Peter Taylor.

    Kerala did not end up with the winning bid on any of the 10 Indian heroes on auction, but to be fair conducted the draft part of the exercise pretty shrewdly.


    Kerala have retained the standout performer from last year in Sandesh Jhingan and also managed to get themselves a quality striker C.K. Vineeth. However, Kerala’s team looks incomplete as of now and they have all to do as they look to repeat the feats of last year’s campaign.

    Do tell us what you feel about how your favourite squad is shaping up and lookout for the next edition of this series as we take a look at the remaining four teams.

    Till then, here’s the link to the previous article of this series.

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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