Kerala Blasters unveils squad for ISL Season 3

Kerala Blasters has made significant changes to the team which has Steve Coppell, a former Manchester United veteran, as its coach.

Kerala Blasters seems to have a new celebration gesture for this season's Indian Super League.   -  H. Vibhu

Kerala Blasters Football Club today unveiled its team for the third edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) at a star-studded function here in the presence of its star team owners Sachin Tendulkar, Chiranjeevi and Nagarjuna among others.

Kerala Blasters has made significant changes to the team which has Steve Coppell, a former Manchester United veteran, as its coach.

The team has an impressive line-up of 27 footballers including star marquee player Aaron Hughes, defender Cedric Hengbart, goalkeeper Graham Stack, Michael Chopra, Azrack Mahamat, Duckens Nazon, Kervens Belfort, Didier Boris Kadio and Elhadji Ousseynou Ndoye.

It has also retained Antonio German and Josu who were impressive last season along with Indian players Sandesh Jhingan, Mehtab Hossain, Sandip Nandy, Mohammad Rafi and Gurwinder Singh.

“Play your brand of football that everyone loves,” Tendulkar, wearing a traditional Kerala mundu (dhoti) with a golden lining and yellow jersey of the Blasters, told the team members heading for Thailand for practice matches.

“We have a talented team of young and experienced professionals who are hungry to go out on the field and give their best,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to a splendid performance from the team.

Coach Steve Coppell said the Thailand tour will help the team to gel better. He said the team will play friendly matches against some of the premier Thai League and first division teams as well as other teams in Thailand.

“It is not holiday,” he said, adding that the team will be playing in very rough conditions in Thailand ahead of the ISL season. “We would like to play an attacking game with width. We are right now focused on getting everybody fit and becoming a cohesive unit. We will take it one game at a time. The strategy will be fluid depending on the opposition and we will play within our strengths.”



Squad

Goalkeepers: Graham Stack, Sandip Nandy, Kunal Sawant and Mohammad Moniruzzaman Ansari.

Defenders: Aaron Hughes, Cedric Hengbart, Gurwinder Singh, Elhadji Ndoye, Pratik Chowdhary, Rino Anto and Sandesh Jhingan.

Midfielders: Ishfaq Ahmed, Josu Currais, Mehtab Hossain, Mohammed Rafique, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Didier Boris Kadio, C K Vineeth, Azrack Mahamat and Vinit Rai.

Forwards: Antonio German, Kervens Belfort, Michael Chopra, Mohammed Rafi, Thongkhosiem Haokip, Farukh Choudhary and Duckens Nazon.

Head Coach: Steve Coppell