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

Brad Friedel and Joleon Lescott to coach FC Combined Islands


The former United States of America International, MLS Columbus Crew and former English Premier League Goalkeeper for Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur, Blackburn Rovers, and Liverpool FC Bradley Howard Friedel has been officially secured as the Head Coach of the FC Combined Islands franchise participating in the Islands Cup Open (ISCO) Tournament planned to commence in the summer 2021. The ISCO Tournament will consist of up to 10 franchise teams across the Caribbean and Latin American regions with games played on a Tournament basis over 12 weeks from May to August 2021.

FC Combined Islands Franchise co-owner, Iraq and UAE based businessman Ahmed Ali, has approved ISCO’s commitment with ‘Brad’ Friedel, as he is more widely known, to be appointed Head Coach, along with former England International, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Everton FC and Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott, together with South African International and Tottenham Hotspur, Everton FC and Sunderland attacker Steven Pienaar, as elite players to be included on the Franchise roster of players.

Mr. Ali commented, “As co-owner for the franchise, I am ecstatic to announce such great appointments to our Franchise in Mr. Friedel, Mr. Lescott, and Mr. Pienaar – it’s represents some really fantastic selections for our FC Combined Islands Franchise. We are very much looking forward to the action in our first ISCO Championship participation.”

Mr. Friedel expressed his views on the appointment, “I am humbled with the selection for this new and upcoming challenge. Especially after my first stint as Head Coach in the MLS with New England Revolution. I know I still have a lot to prove, but I am ready. I know there are a lot of high quality players who will be a part of this Tournament roster overall, so the standard will be very high and extremely competitive. I am ready for the challenge and can’t wait to begin.”

Mr. Lescott commented, “this is an uplifting project for the Caribbean in these trying times. I see this as a great opportunity for all young talent in the Caribbean. In fact, all young players from across Latin America and even Africa, can use this as a platform to showcase their talent playing alongside renowned International Marquee players. This is the ultimate platform to exhibit true talent. I accept this challenge with the utmost humility with a commitment to teach youngsters to becoming better players and also fair play gentlemen of the game.”

Mr. Pienaar issued similar enthusiasm and sentiments. “This is a revolutionary effort by ISCO and its fantastic news for me to be considered to be a part of this great vision by the founder, Chris Anderson, a former International player himself. I look forward to playing a leadership role in the effort of FC Combined Islands Franchise securing the first ISCO championship in the summer 2021.”

The Combined Islands Franchise will include elite young players from Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, Grenada, St Vincent & the Grenadines and will be based in Antigua & Barbuda with its games to be played as part of the ISCO caravan schedule in selected countries. ISCO CEO/Commissioner, Paul Mohamed called the appointments a win for the FC Combined Islands Franchise and all fans of the beautiful game. “We are on the cusp of something historic and exciting not only for the fans, but also emerging young footballers within the Caribbean region. The tournament gives them the perfect platform to participate in a structured tournament which will allow them to showcase their talents and also learn from former players and legends of the game,” said Mohamed.

Game days will be an experience that has never before been showcased in a single tournament, featuring a rich spectacular vibe – a melding of culture, food, football and live Music genres such as: Samba, Reggae, Soca, Salsa, Afro-beat, Reggaeton, Hip-Hop, EDM and Bollywood will all contribute to the extravaganza experience. ISCO is slated to be the Biggest Football Fete Fest ever that will bring the party right alongside the game!

In the current COVID-19 pandemic environment, we all should be alert, cautious and maintain a level of preparedness, mindful that the forecast and potential for things to worsen exists. It is for this reason that CFTL is committed to promoting the necessary practices that assist in eradicating this global pandemic. Thus, our advice and caution to all Players, Coaches, football fans, media personnel and others across the globe – wash your hands, wear your mask and maintain social distancing, when in a public setting.

We look forward to sharing the ISCO games with you in Summer 2021. Nets will Shake!!!