More opportunities for local youngsters in I-League: Chennai City head coach

·2-min read
Chennai City FC players training (Photo/ I-League)
Chennai City FC players training (Photo/ I-League)

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], December 30 (ANI): Chennai City FC's new head coach Satyasagara outlined the importance of promoting the local players that have been brought through the ranks at the club for the upcoming season of the I-League, which is all set to begin from January 9, 2021.

The Coimbatore-based club's head coach and midfielder Sriram Boopathi took to their screens in a virtual press conference ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season.

The Chennai coach reiterated the importance of giving a platform to the local players from Tamil Nadu at the club.

"We will have a rotation policy in place for this season. It is partly there to ensure that the players do not get injured. But another important reason to have the rotation policy is so that we can promote the youngsters," said Satyasagara.

"I am happy with the squad because we have some talented youngsters coming through. Our goal is to bring them to the next level. Kabir (Toufik) will be our first choice keeper this season, and he is someone who has come through the ranks. He was the third choice keeper at first, then the second choice, and now he's our number one.

"Suhail (Pasha) is another talented youngster who is just 18-years-old. I will be rotating and giving them playing time. Our rotation policy will not only help us with niggles and injuries, but it will also give these young guys their opportunities. We are all looking forward to a good season," he added.

With a number of youngsters raring to go at the Chennai camp, Boopathi feels that the atmosphere at the club is one akin to that of a family.

"For the local boys, playing for our home team is a very happy moment. This is not a club, it is a family. The club has already brought through so many local players, and still plans to give a lot more opportunities to more such local boys," said Sriram.

Over the years, Chennai City has built a sizeable fan-base, something that has been further aided by their I-League-winning effort back in the 2018-19 season. However, the likes of Sriram will miss playing in front of a vociferous and partisan crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore with the new season taking place inside a COVID-safety bio-bubble.

"The fans are very much a part of our family. We will definitely miss them and their support from the stands this season. But our fans have been keeping our spirits high. They have been using social media to show us their love and support. They keep sending messages of support to every player in the team. That has really kept our spirits high," the midfielder said.

Chennai City take on fellow Southern rivals Gokulam Kerala FC in their opening match of the season on January 9, 2021, at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium. (ANI)