The Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ team is set to compete in the upcoming Second Division League that is slated to begin on March 16, 2018. Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ will be one of seven ISL clubs fielding reserve teams (except ATK, NorthEast United FC and Mumbai City FC) in the eighteen-team Second Division League, the second tier of Indian football. And Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ team is pitted against the reserve teams of ISL compatriots Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC in the same group.
The Second Division League will begin with a preliminary round that involves the eighteen teams divided into three groups of six teams each. Apart from exciting clashes against reserve teams from BFC and JFC, CFC ‘B’ will also lock horns with TRAU FC from Imphal, Langsning FC from Shillong and Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting Club in Group C. The preliminary round will begin on March 16 and go on till May 15 with the teams playing on a home and away basis.
The Second Division League promises to be the perfect platform for the talented Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ team to gain big-game exposure, with the squad comprising fifteen AIFF Elite Academy graduates and the best young players from across Tamil Nadu. With Chennaiyin FC Technical Director for Youth Development & First Team Assistant Coach Syed Sabir Pasha as their Head Coach, Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ will be raring to go against teams from some of the country’s footballing hotbeds, looking to prove their mettle and stake claim for a spot in the Chennaiyin FC senior squad. Their previous outing ended in penalty shootout heartbreak against Bengaluru DFA in the quarterfinals of the Don Bosco Fr. McFerran Trophy All India Football Tournament last month, in what was the Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ team’s first tournament.
The three preliminary group winners and the best second placed team qualify for the final round of the Second Division League scheduled for May 21-27, 2018 at a central venue wherein they play each other in a single-leg league system to decide the winner that is promoted to the next tier of Indian football. However, if a reserve team of an ISL club finishes first or second in the preliminary group, the position will be passed on to the next non-ISL team.
The announcement of Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ competing in the Second Division League comes a day after the Chennaiyin FC U-13 team won the Chennai zone in their debut season and qualified for the final round of the National Under-13 Youth League, having won all of their eight group matches. The Chennaiyin FC U-15 team also recently played in the National Under-15 Youth League after having won the Chennai zone in their debut season.
Second Division League – Groups
Group A: Real Kashmir FC, LoneStar Kashmir FC, Delhi Dynamos FC (reserves), Hindustan FC, Delhi United FC, FC Pune City (reserves)
Group B: Madhya Bharat SC, FC Goa (reserves), Kerala Blasters (reserves), Ozone Football Academy, Fateh Hyderabad AFC, FC Kerala
Group C: TRAU FC, Langsning FC, Mohammedan Sporting Club, Bengaluru FC (reserves), Jamshedpur FC (reserves), Chennaiyin FC ‘B’