“ISL is a long way ahead of the I-League now,” says Delhi Dynamos star as Rahul Dravid pads up for Bengaluru FC

Indian Super League News

The Dehli Dynamos may have crashed out of the last two ISL’s in the semi-final stages, but Romeo Fernandes believes that the league itself is now “a long way ahead of the I-League now”.

The former FC Goa man was speaking to Indian website SportsKeeda at the Dehli Dynamos’ kit launch.

The club will be hoping that their strategy of ignoring big marquee signings and focusing on a core of young Indian talent will pay dividends.

Dehli rounded off their preseason earlier today with a 2-0 win over Minerva FC, the goals coming from David and Paulinho.

Fernandes spent the first three ISL seasons with FC Goa and is excited about his move to the nation’s capital city.

“Yes, it is difficult moving from Goa. It is the first time I am playing away from home in the ISL and it is a challenge, I feel,” he said.

“Now, it is a new challenge for me in Delhi and I am looking forward to playing here,” he added.

“Pre-season was good and I have a great relationship with our coach. I have learnt a lot from him and I am hoping to put my best foot forward once the new season gets underway”.

Dehli get their season underway on November 22, away to FC Pune City.

Cricket and India obviously go hand in hand, and the ISL clubs are fully aware of this fact. Sachin Tendulkar is part owner of Kerala Blasters, MS Dhoni is a co-owner of Chennaiyin and Bengaluru FC have just announced another former Indian cricket captain as an official ambassador for the club. Rahul Dravid was known as “The Wall” in his playing days, building his legacy around a very strong defence. Whether Bengaluru can build any success on similar foundations remains to be seen.

“It’s great to be an ambassador for Bengaluru FC, a team who I have been tracking across the last four seasons. Also, the connect is instant given I am a Bangalore boy,” said Dravid.

“The way the city has responded to BFC has been tremendous and the club has some of the most passionate fans. The ISL will be a new chapter in the club’s history and I’m looking forward to being part of it in my capacity with BFC.”

Bengaluru kick-off their debut season in the ISL with a home fixture against Mumbai City FC on November 19.

FC Pune City coach Ranko Popovic is still confused by the fact that the ISL has such a long break before the season gets underway.

“I’m positively surprised with the talent and organization here. What is a matter of concern is the break from which they come back to play ISL as it’s a long one. It’s normal here but for me it’s not because in Europe you may have about a month long break.

“But I’ve to adapt myself to the circumstances and work around the guys accordingly. The good part is that there is big space for development and the players are eager to learn so it’s good. We are here to help all the players in a way that eventually it also helps to raise the level of football in India”.

He has a point – with the season finishing back in April, many of the players in the league have not had competitive action for the last six months, and with the season itself being quite short there is a chance that the league will be ending just as the players are hitting their full stride.

Fans of Kerala Blasters are left up in arms over the fact that there may not be enough tickets available for Friday’s opener against ATK. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi has been reduced in capacity to 41,000 following renovation for the U17 World Cup, and only 39,000 tickets went on sale – the rest being reserved as complementaries.

Just two days to go folks!

About the Author

Chris Darwen
Editor-in-Chief for Ronnie Dog Media