Chennaiyin FC B will commence their Second Division League campaign against southern rivals Kerala Blasters reserves on Monday, January 14 at the Panampilly Ground in Kochi. In their second consecutive appearance in the second tier of Indian football, Chennaiyin FC B are pitted against Bengaluru’s Ozona FC and South United FC, and Fateh Hyderabad AFC apart from KBFC in Group B. The ties will be played on a home-away basis with Chennaiyin FC contesting their home games at the SSN College ground.
Under the tutelage of Sameer Shaikh, a former Youth Development Coach at DSK Shivajians FC, Chennaiyin FC B have been training in Goa over the last three weeks. And as part of their preparations for the Second Division League, they’ve faced Goa Pro League outfits Vasco SC and Sporting Clube de Goa as well as FC Goa reserves and Guardian Angel SC in practice games.
“The training and practice matches in Goa have helped immensely in getting the boys match fit. They need to hit the ground running and use the 2nd Division League games as an opportunity to develop. If they work hard and persevere, this can be a springboard for them to make the next step to the Chennaiyin FC senior team,” said Coach Sameer Shaikh.
The Chennaiyin FC B squad comprises talent from Tamil Nadu and around the country, including a number of Chennaiyin FC U-18 boys who qualified for the final round of the U18 Youth League recently, after winning the Chennai zone with an unbeaten record. Having finished bottom of their group with two wins in last season’s Second Division League, the Chennaiyin FC B starlets with an average age of 18 years garnered some valuable big-game exposure from competing against senior professional teams like Mohammedan Sporting (Kolkata), Langsning FC (Shillong) and Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC (Imphal) from around the country. Their aim will be to improve on last year’s showing while focusing on their overall development and growth.
Chennaiyin FC B are one of six Indian Super League clubs (except NorthEast United FC, Mumbai City FC, FC Pune City and Delhi Dynamos FC) fielding reserve teams in the preliminary round of the 16-team Second Division League. The preliminary round group winners from Group A and Group B and the top two teams from Group C will progress to the final round. However if an ISL reserve team finishes in the qualifying positions, the slot will be passed on to the next non-ISL team.
Chennaiyin FC B – 2nd Division League Group B Fixtures:
14th January – Kerala Blasters FC (R) vs Chennaiyin FC B – Panampilly Ground, Kochi – 3:30pm
19th January – Chennaiyin FC B vs South United FC – SSN College Ground, Chennai – 3:30pm
22nd January – Chennaiyin FC B vs Ozone FC – SSN College Ground, Chennai – 3:30pm
22nd February – Fateh Hyderabad AFC vs Chennaiyin FC B – FSV Arena, Bengaluru – 3pm
26th February – South United FC vs Chennaiyin FC B – Bangalore Football Stadium, Bengaluru – 3pm
11th March – Ozone FC vs Chennaiyin FC B – Bangalore Football Stadium, Bengaluru – 3pm
21st March – Chennaiyin FC B vs Kerala Blasters FC (R) – SSN College Ground, Chennai – 3:30pm
26th March – Chennaiyin FC B vs Fateh Hyderabad AFC – SSN College Ground, Chennai – 3:30pm