THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Indian Super League (ISL) clubs gear up for second edition

Hero Indian Super League (ISL)

Hero Indian Super League (ISL)

As the second edition of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) inches closer, the participating clubs are gearing up for yet another year of highly competitive football championship.

Over the last two months the Indian football market witnessed hectic negotiations among the clubs’ officials and Indian players – for retention and signings from open market for players who played in the inaugural season of Hero ISL but were not in their club’s retention list. As the first step towards building their respective squad, all eight franchises have submitted, within the stipulated deadline on Friday, 15th May 2015, the list of retained Indian players as well as open market signings, thus forming the core of their respective teams.

Football Sports Development Limited – the promoting body with a joint venture between IMG, Reliance Industries and Star India – in its Governing Council meeting in March 2015 had announced a retention quota of minimum of one and maximum six Indian players. Thus encouraging franchises to reward their best domestic players with retention contracts and continuity with the club.

A total of 41 Indian players have been rewarded with retention contracts by their respective Hero Indian Super League franchises. Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters FC have exercised the maximum allowed retention clause by retaining six Indian players each from their previous squad, while Delhi Dynamos and NorthEast United FC have retained five each, Atlético de Kolkata have four players retained and Mumbai City FC have opted for three.

Each franchise is allowed to have a squad of 22, comprising of 13 Indian and 9 international players including one marquee. Additionally, a franchise can sign 3 more players from the open market which can include maximum of 2 international player.

Interestingly, FC Goa has already registered 11 out of the 13 Indian players’ quota in the squad with five signings from open market other than the six retained from the inaugural year of Hero ISL. As of date, Atlético de Kolkata and Kerala Blasters FC each have 9 Indian players on their roster, followed by Chennaiyin FC 8, Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and NorthEast United at 7 each, and Mumbai City FC having 6 domestic players.

Indian player signings will be completed in the month of July through an auction followed by draft of unsigned players. The list for auction as well as draft will also include the names of players who did missed out on the first season of Hero ISL in 2014.

Hero ISL Clubs Indian player list (as of 15th May 2015)

Atlético de Kolkata
Players Retained: Arnab Kumar Mondal, Baljit Singh Sahni, Denzil Franco, Nallapan Mohanraj
Signings from open market: Nadong Bhutia, Jewel Raja Sheikh, Sushil Kumar Singh, Syed Rahim Nabi, Clifford Miranda

Chennaiyin FC
Players Retained: Jayesh Rane, Abhishek Das, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Jeje Lalpekhula, Dhanachandra Singh, Balwant Singh
Signings from open market: Godwin Franco, Mehrajuddin Wadoo

Delhi Dynamos FC
Players Retained: Francis Fernandes, Anwar Ali, Syhlo Malsawmtluanga, Robert Lalthlamuana, Souvik Chakraborty
Signings from open market: Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Seiminlen Doungel

FC Goa
Players Retained: Romeo Fernandes, Mandar Rao Desai, Laxmikant Kattimani, Narayan Das, Debabrata Roy, Bikramjit Singh
Signings from open market: Pronay Halder, CS Sabeeth, Denson Devadas, Joaquim Abranches, Raju Eknath Gaikwad

FC Pune City
Players Retained: Lenny Rodrigues, Arindam Bhattacharya, Ravanan Dharmaraj, Israil Gurung, Pritam Kotal, Manish Maithani
Signings from open market: Gourmangi Moirangthem Singh

Kerala Blasters FC
Players Retained: Sandesh Jhingan, Ishfaq Ahmed, Mehatab Hossain, Gurwinder Singh, Saumik Dey, Sandip Nandy
Signings from open market: Mohammed Rafi, Nirmal Chettri, Ramandeep Singh

Mumbai City FC
Players Retained: Subrata Pal, Subhash Singam Singh, Lalrindika Ralte
Signings from open market: Gabriel Fernandes, Kingshuk Debnath, Rowlin Rodrigues

NorthEast United FC
Players Retained: Rehnesh TP, Aiborlang Khongjee, Robin Gurung, Boithang Haokip, Alen Deory
Signings from open market: Sanju Pradhan, Holicharn Narzary