Chennaiyin FC unveiled their first team squad for the 2018/19 Indian Super League season at a press conference today, September 24. The reigning Indian Super League champions have retained twelve players from the successful 2017/18 campaign and promoted Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ team players Hendry Antonay, Bedashwor Singh and Zonunmawia to the 25-man squad for their ISL title defence.
The core of last season’s squad has been retained with four foreigners – Raphael Augusto, Mailson Alves, Inigo Calderon and Gregory Nelson – continuing while Brazilian defender Eli Sabia, Italian midfielder Andrea Orlandi and Palestine forward Carlos Antonio Salom are the new foreign additions.
There is a good mix of youth and experience with ten of the domestic contingent being U-23 players. The key absentee is local boy Dhanpal Ganesh who is set to miss a major part of the season due to a knee injury.
“We are looking forward to the new season with an objective to create history by becoming the first team to retain the ISL title, and put on a good show in our debut AFC Cup campaign,” said a determined John Gregory ahead of his side’s ISL season 5 opener against Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, September 30.
Chennaiyin FC’s pre-season preparations comprised a month in Malaysia followed by 10 days in Goa. They played four friendlies in Malaysia before a double-header against AIFF’s developmental side Indian Arrows in Goa.
Karanjit Singh, Sanjiban Ghosh, Nikhil Bernard
Mailson Alves (Brazil), Eli Sabia (Brazil), Inigo Calderon (Spain), Jerry Lalrinzuala, Tondonba Singh, Laldinliana Renthlei, Zohmingliana Ralte, Hendry Antonay
Raphael Augusto (Brazil), Gregory Nelson (The Netherlands), Andrea Orlandi (Italy), Francisco Fernandes, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Germanpreet Singh, Sinivasan Pandiyan, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Bedashwor Singh, Zonunmawia
Jeje Lalpekhlua, Mohammed Rafi, Carlos Antonio Salom (Palestine)