Mondal: ISL has made Indian players fitter and more confident

"Before the ISL we could hardly get any international exposure. But with the ISL teams brining in top international coaches and support staff, the Indian players are gaining both in terms of confidence and fitness," said Arnab Mondal.

(L-R) Atletico de Kolkata forward Iain Hume, co-owner Sanjiv Goenka, Helder Postiga and Arnab Mondal launch the team's new anthem.   -  PTI

Seasoned India defender Arnab Mondal agreed with his national coach Stephen Constantine in saying that the Indian Super League is offering valuable exposure to the players from the country.

“I can say the Indian players gain a lot out of sharing the dressing room for more than two months with international stars. They also get to train in the best facilities of the world when the team goes out for pre-season conditioning,” Arnab said as his team Atletico de Kolkata launched a new slogan and song for the third season of the ISL.

“Before the ISL we could hardly get any international exposure. But with the ISL teams brining in top international coaches and support staff, the Indian players are gaining both in terms of confidence and fitness,” Arnab said.

Mondal missed pre-season owing to his commitment with East Bengal, which lifted the Calcutta Football League premier division title for the record seventh time in a row. The player said he is mentally and physically prepared to get in sync with his new assignment.

The champion of the inaugural edition and semifinalist last year, ATK looked to make a fresh connect with its fans ahead of the third season. In a city where a big number of football aficionados are divided in their support for the two traditional teams East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, ATK’s branding exercise becomes crucial as the former two are set to be drafted into the ISL next season.

“Amar Bukey ATK” (ATK in my heart) was a new slogan released by the Kolkata franchise, which is owned by the consortium of Sanjiv Goenka, Harshvardhan Neotia, Utsav Parekh, Sourav Ganguly and Atletico Madrid.

Helder Postiga, the former Portuguese World Cupper who has been retained as the marquee player, said he has recovered from the injury that made him miss most of the ISL last season and is ready give his best for the side in the third edition. Canadian Iain Hume, who will be joining Postiga in the attack, said he hoped to continue with the good form he had last year and help the team regain the title in the end.