Monday, Dec 17, 2018 | Last Update : 08:08 AM IST
Mumbai City FC is set to tackle the Indian Super League with new members and the same philosophy.
The Indian Super League (ISL) witnessed its biggest ever player draft with 10 franchises participating. The city’s ISL team, Mumbai City FC, signed 13 new players as they retained two of their former players and re-signed two.
The team, owned by Ae Dil Hai Mushkil actor Ranbir Kapoor, was eliminated in the semi-finals in their previous campaign but are moving forward with the same coach Alexandre Guimarães.
“I’m pleased to be back to Mumbai and look forward to contributing more to the club and Indian football,” said Guimarães, adding that despite new players, the team’s philosophy remains the same. “We have built the team from its spine while the draft took place. We have a good foundation with potential to flourish,” said Guimarães.
The players picked by Mumbai City FC are Balwant Singh, Arindam Bhattacharya, Raju Gaikwad, Abinash Ruidas, Sahil Tavora, Aiborlang Khongjee, Sanju Pradhan, Zakeer Mundampara, Biswajit Saha, Pranjal Bhumij, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Kunal Sawant and Lalchhawnkima. Among the players that have been retained are goalkeeper Amrinder Singh and strong midfielder Sehnaj Singh, who are their Indian players from last season also. The team has also retained Rakesh Oram as an Under-21 player.
Mumbai City FC have gone for a mix of youth and experience in the drafts and this should stand them in good stead for the upcoming season.
With the addition of two new teams Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC, ISL will be played over the course of five months instead of three.
Among the players coming from the I-League is Abinash Ruidas, who had a controversial berth in the draft, where his previous club East Bengal FC claimed that he has two years to his contract. However, an official from Mumbai City FC said, “We are aware of this issue. Firstly, we were told by the ISL that any player, who is placed on the draft is approachable and can be picked. And, apart from that, our coach chose Abinash to be a part of the club and we hope he gives us good results.”