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Chennaiyin FC B face Kerala Blasters FC Reserves in 2nd Division League opener

The Chennaiyin FC B squad for the 2nd Division League 2018/19. (Photo courtesy: Chennaiyin FC)
The Chennaiyin FC B squad for the 2nd Division League 2018/19. Photo courtesy: Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC B will commence their 2nd Division League campaign against southern rivals Kerala Blasters FC Reserves on Monday 14th January at the Panampilly Ground in Kochi. In their second consecutive appearance in the second tier of Indian football, CFC B are pitted against Bengaluru’s Ozona FC and South United FC, and Fateh Hyderabad AFC apart from KBFC in Group B. The ties will be played on a home-away basis with CFC contesting their home games at the SSN College ground here.

Under the tutelage of Sameer Shaikh, a former Youth Development Coach at DSK Shivajians, CFC B have been training in Goa over the last three weeks. And as part of their preparations for the 2nd Division League, they’ve faced Goa Pro League outfits Vasco SC and Sporting Clube de Goa as well as FC Goa reserves and Guardian Angel Sports Club in practice games.

“The training and practice matches in Goa have helped immensely in getting the boys match fit. They need to hit the ground running and use the 2nd Division League games as an opportunity to develop. If they work hard and persevere, this can be a springboard for them to make the next step to the CFC senior team,” said Coach Sameer Shaikh.

The CFC B squad comprises talent from Tamil Nadu and around the country, including a number of CFC U-18 boys who qualified for the final round of the 2018-19 Hero Elite League recently, after winning the Chennai zone with an unbeaten record. Having finished bottom of their group with two wins in last season’s 2nd Division League, the CFC B starlets with an average age of 18 years garnered some valuable big-game exposure from competing against senior professional teams like Mohammedan Sporting (Kolkata), Langsning FC (Shillong) and Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC (Imphal) from around the country. Their aim will be to improve on last year’s showing while focusing on their overall development and growth.

CFC B are one of six Indian Super League clubs (except NorthEast United FC, Mumbai City FC, FC Pune City and Delhi Dynamos FC) fielding reserve teams in the preliminary round of the 16-team 2nd Division League. The preliminary round group winners from Group A and Group B and the top two teams from Group C will progress to the final round. However if an ISL reserve team finishes in the qualifying positions, the slot will be passed on to the next non-ISL team.

2nd Division League – Groups

Group A: Lonestar Kashmir FC, Hindustan FC, ARA FC, Bengaluru FC B, FC Goa Reserves
Group B: Kerala Blasters FC Reserves, Chennaiyin FC B, South United FC, Ozone FC, Fateh Hyderabad AFC
Group C: ATK Reserves, Jamshedpur FC Reserves, Mohammedan Sporting, Rainbow AC, Chhinga Veng, TRAU FC

2nd Division League – CFC B – Fixtures

14th January – KBFC (R) vs CFC B – Panampilly Ground, Kochi – 3:30 PM
19th January – CFC B vs South United – SSN College Ground, Chennai – 3:30 PM
22nd January – CFC B vs Ozone – SSN College Ground, Chennai – 3:30 PM
22nd February – Fateh Hyderabad vs CFC B – FSV Arena, Bengaluru – 3 PM
26th February – South United vs CFC B – Bangalore Football Stadium, Bengaluru – 3 PM
11th March – Ozone vs CFC B – Bangalore Football Stadium, Bengaluru – 3 PM
21st March – CFC B vs KBFC (R) – SSN College Ground, Chennai – 3:30 PM
26th March – CFC B vs Fateh Hyderabad – SSN College Ground, Chennai – 3:30 PM

(Chennaiyin FC)