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Jeff Slack: Indian Super League a project for development of Indian football

Indian Super League

Indian Super League

The two-day Domestic Player Draft of the inaugural Hero Indian Super League (ISL) concluded successfully in Mumbai today with each ISL club going for different player selection strategies, thus forming their Indian player line-up.

42 players were up for grabs at the start of Day 2 with Team Goa and North East United FC picking from their pre-selected pool of players [Full Draft Lists: Day 1 | Day 2].

Former Indian national team captain Climax Lawrence was picked up by Atlético de Kolkata while his former national team midfield colleagues Steven Benedic Dias and Naduparambil Pappachen Pradeep were picked by Delhi Dynamos FC and Team Bengaluru respectively [Full Draft Lists: Day 1 | Day 2].

The tension and the intensity increased as the draft proceedings advanced into the final rounds with the club representatives engaging in intense calculations in finalizing their squad.

Over 15 players who have represented the Indian national team in the last three years and 12 players from various Indian age-group national sides were drafted by the clubs on Day 2 of the Hero Indian Super League [Full Draft Lists: Day 1 | Day 2].

This was the first time in the history of Indian football that such a novel player draft system was executed and with promises of many more to come in the near future, all for the popularization, betterment and development of Indian football.

At the successful conclusion of the two-day gathering, Jefferson Slack (Senior Vice-President, IMG Global Football Development) said that it was very “fulfilling to see this happen.”

“It’s so fulfilling to see the realization of the vision and hard work. This is also a step to inspire young Indians not only to follow but also to play the sport as this is a project for the development of Indian football,” he said.

Former Indian national captain Baichung Bhutia insisted it has been a “learning process” for him.

“Summarising the teams as they have been picked, it’s difficult for me to pick up a favourite,” Bhutia stated.

“It’s impressive to note that each of the clubs have gone for different strategies while player selection. The entire process has been a great learning one for me. I look forward to see new talent emerging and maturing through Indian Super League while playing with other iconic players,” he added.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)