Mail News Service
Jamshedpur: Indian Super League (ISL) is back in the Steel City and Jamshedpur FC is all geared up for the third season with everything to play for. Men of Steel have proved their mettle during the previous two seasons but they missed the play-off spot just by a whisker. There is a new squad this time with new coaches and the team management is banking on young legs to take them to the pinnacle. With ISL 6 round the corner, Jamshedpur FC revealed the final squad of the season at the Center For Excellence in CH Area on Thursday.
The team will be leaving for Mumbai on October 4 and will be playing a one off practice match against the hosts on October 5.
On the eve of the departure the final squad of 25 players consisting of 19 Indian and 6 foreigners were in attendance before the local media. The Club has made 11 new signings which include stellar performers CK Vineeth, four experienced Spanish midfielders Aitor Monroy, Piti, Noe Acosta and forward Sergio Castel along with young Indian talents. Defender Jitendra Singh and centre-back Narender Gahlot who were out on loan last season to Indian Arrows have rejoined the JFC squad.
Other two foreigners are Spaniard Tiri and Brazilian Memo who have been part of Jamshedpur FC since the first season.
Addressing the media at the team introduction session, Jamshedpur FC Chairman and VP Corporate Services, Tata Steel, Chanakya Chaudhary said, “We must ensure that our team lives up to the slogan ‘Jam Ke Khelo’ (Play Your Best). All citizens should be part of the Red Brigade and push our players to reach the play-offs and hopefully win the tournament”.
“I was surprised to see the crowd turnout during the recently held warm-up matches which indicates how the stands will look as the tournament kicks off. It’s really heartening to see a large population of football lovers in the city and hope the team doesn�t disappoint as we have a good coach, good team and all prospects to better our record this season,” added Chaudhary.
The Club’s seasoned and experienced Spanish Head coach Antonio Iriondo who has been leading pre-season proceedings for almost a month now said, “Every day the when the team takes the field we set a target to perform better than the previous day.”
Asked about any injury worries to the squad, Antonio informed that there are injuries but are not so worrying and while playing there is always a chance that a player will get injured but all will be fine before the ISL starts.�
Replying to a question about the majority of Spanish players in the squad, Spaniard Antonio Iriondo opined, “Spanish players who are a part of the JFC squad are brilliant footballers and I have personally seen them playing club football in Spain and we are like a family here at JFC which makes our work much easier.”
Jamshedpur FC CEO Mukul Choudhari said, �ISL is back for the third time in Jamshedpur. We missed the play-off spot by a small margin during the last season but scored 29 goals.
“The response to our grassroot football festival has been overwhelming and Jamshedpur FC will soon launch its Football School in Delhi World Public School,� added the JFC CEO.
Later, the whole JFC squad along with coaches and support staff converged at the CFE lawn for a photo-op, which has become an annual ritual.
Also present were Ravi Radhakrishnan, Chief Aviation and Sports, Tata Steel, Jamshedpur FC Technical Director Julian Vilar Aragon, Ashish Kumar, Head Sports, Tata Steel.