Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC are excited to announce the signing of 22-year-old Sinivasan Pandiyan from Chennai City FC on a permanent move subject to transfer window regulations. The Thanjavur-born central midfielder has penned a three-year contract with the current ISL title holders on the back of an impressive I-League 2017-18 campaign. He appeared on 17 instances for Chennai City, starting in 16 of them and proved to be a vital component in the side’s fight for survival in the competition.
Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani took the opportunity to welcome Pandiyan to the club. “It is a great moment for everyone at the club to have another player from Tamil Nadu representing us. We are excited to have Pandiyan join us ahead of a challenging season of title defence. He has come leaps and bounds in the last few years and we’re sure he will only get better with us.”
Pandiyan will be aiming to prove his mettle at Chennaiyin FC in what will be a landmark season for the club with AFC Cup commitments on the horizon. Head Coach John Gregory expressed his delight on the new arrival by saying “It is always great for any football club to promote local talent and in Pandiyan we have one of the brightest talents in Tamil Nadu as well as in India. I believe he is a player with huge potential and I’m looking forward to working with him in pre-season.”
Pandiyan has a reputation of operating in the midfield with silent efficiency. And by joining Chennaiyin he is fulfilling the ambition of showing his worth in the ISL. “It is a huge privilege for me to join Chennaiyin FC. I’ve always aspired to play for Chennaiyin in the ISL as I feel I have it in me to excel at this stage. And joining the ISL champions, that too from my home state, is an even more special feeling. Players like Nallapan Mohanraj and Dhanpal Ganesh have always been an inspiration to me, and I hope to follow in their footsteps in making this club and its supporters proud.”
Pandiyan is the youngest of three brothers, all of them footballers. Coming from modest means, his rise to the top of the Indian football ladder is impressive given his young age. Born and raised 350 kilometres from Chennai in the temple town of Thanjavur, Pandiyan, just like his older brothers, received his initial training at Noble Football Academy in Karaikudi district. He then went on to play for Indian Bank in the 2015-16 season followed by Viva Chennai in 2016-17 in the Chennai Football Association (CFA) Senior Division League.
Interestingly, Chennaiyin FC’s Technical Director for Youth Development & Assistant Coach Syed Sabir Pasha was Pandiyan’s coach during his stint with Indian Bank. “Pandiyan is a great addition to our squad. Having seen him come up the ranks and worked with him closely in the past, I expect great things from him. He can break up play, has a good passing range and can cover the length of the pitch with agility. He will surely add more bite to our midfield,” said Pasha on Pandiyan’s acquisition.