Hero ISL to kick off with more excitement than ever

The Hero Indian Super League is set to return this Thursday, October 07 and is poised to be bigger and more exciting than ever. The season will welcome back its 12th Man – the fans, who come back to cheer their teams at the stadiums.

With a productive pre-season, where most Hero ISL teams sent their first teams to participate in the Durand Cup, the clubs are all set to give fans an enthralling experience across the season.

Last season’s champions Hyderabad FC will aim to become the first Hero ISL team to defend their crown successfully but will have healthy competition to contend with.

With some major transfers in pre-season in the likes of Roy Krishna and Greg Stewart finding new home bases and the influx of top international coaches, the title will be more closely contested than ever.

“This season, the teams are better I think,” said Manolo Marquez, head coach of Hyderabad FC. “There are some teams that have improved the quality of the squad and I think that in some moments this will be good because I think all the teams will lose some important points.  We could see last season that Odisha FC had chance to qualify even with only two games left. I think every team can beat the other teams, and it will be an equal competition for sure.”

Hyderabad FC will be looking for a repeat from their main marksman Bartholomew Ogbeche, who topped the scoring charts with 18 goals and led Hyderabad to being the highest-scoring team in the league stage. Ogbeche is part of a solid core for Hyderabad FC, which includes captain Joao Victor.

“I said this last year, I’m the one who wears the armband, but we are full of leaders in the team,” Victor said ahead of the season. “There are experienced players who can help the young guys we have.”

Hyderabad will have stiff competition from the likes of ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City FC, and Bengaluru FC, who have all put together strong squads ahead of the new season. Former Bengaluru FC defensive midfielder Erik Paartalu suggested that Mumbai City FC will be a constant threat to all teams this season and predicted that they would go on to win the title.

“Their squad is not good, it’s crazy good!” Paartalu said. “When Des Buckingham took over last season they had lost quite a few big players from the season before that did the double. They were very up and down last year but Des managed to steer the ship impeccably in the Asian Champions league which was a big confidence boost for everyone involved. The arrival of Greg Stewart, who was the best player in the league last season, is already looking like a great move after he warmed up in the Durand Cup winning the Golden ball and looking untouchable as usual. With the squad they have, it needs to be a trophy this season.”

Mumbai City FC had one of the strongest transfer windows ahead of the season, bringing in big names like Rostyn Griffiths, Alberto Noguera, and Jorge Pereyra Diaz in particular to slot in alongside their talented Indian contingent.

ATK Mohun Bagan are another team that have gone for a rehash in their squad, having fallen at the semi-final stage two seasons in a row, and more recently losing in the AFC Cup inter-zone semi-final. Coach Juan Ferrando has said there have been psychological barriers to his team in the big matches and the addition of experience to a squad that has only five players over the age of 30 will make them strong contenders again.

“You look at the ATKMB squad before a ball has been kicked and say, ‘YES, On paper’. Make no doubts about it, this squad has been assembled to win the league,” said ISL expert Paul Masefield. “With the addition of Ashish Rai and Ashique Kurunian, ATKMB will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”

Both Masefield and Paartalu have predicted that ATK Mohun Bagan will be in the top six and fighting for title honors at the end of the season, and that is also the case with Bengaluru FC. Striker Roy Krishna will be playing alongside legend Sunil Chhetri in attack for the side who have been fallen giants over the last two seasons but looked to be back at their best when they lifted their first Durand Cup title last month. The striker was also their unanimous pick to win the Golden Boot this season.

The Hero ISL this season will also require six developmental Indian players in every squad, and will provide a long calendar for young Indian talent to showcase their best. Some emerging players to watch out for this season will be Chennaiyin FC’s Vincy Barretto, Kerala Blasters’ Prabhsukhan Gill, and Odisha FC’s Narender Gahlot. The Indian talent on display will also be led by players like Liston Colaco and Sahal Abdul Samad who had breakthrough seasons last time around.

Also Read : Mumbai City FC partners exclusively with DreamSetGo

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…

Share

Sunday Boys to hold trials for MFA 1st Division

MFA 1st division side Sunday Boys FC will be conducting trials in the first week of November for the upcoming football season Sunday Boys Football Club was established in the…

Share

Millat FC to hold trials for MFA Elite Premier League

Millat FC – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season Millat had a decent run in…

Share

MFA Elite Division club KSA to conduct trials for the upcoming season

Karnataka Sporting Association (KSA) – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season KSA had an amazing…

Share

Young Guns Football Acadmey to conduct trials for their upcoming MFA 3rd Division Campaign

MFA 3rd Division club Young Guns Football Academy will be conducting open trials on October 9th for their upcoming season in Mumbai Football Young Guns Football Academy was founded in…

Share

OSCAR SSE to conduct trials for Youth I League and YPL team in the U13 category in Mumbai

Mumbai-based OSCAR SSE will conduct trials for their Youth I League and YPL team on 16th and 17th July 2022 at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star…

Share

ROQS to host trials for MFA Super Division

ROQS is revamping their squad for the upcoming season of the MFA Super Division. The team is organising trials for the men’s football team on Monday, 11th of July, 2022….

Share

MSP Academy is holding trials for the upcoming MFA Youth League

MFA Super Division club Mumbai Soccer Prodigies will be conducting trials for their MFA Youth League campaign on 22nd May 2022 in Bandra, Mumbai. Founded in 2006, the Mumbai Soccer…

Share

Football School of India to conduct Youth Trials

Mumbai-based Football School of India is going to conduct youth trials for its boys and girls squads. The trials will be conducted for players in the age group of under-13…

Share

Bengaluru FC Elite Youth Football Trials

Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club that competes in the Indian Super League (ISL) and are past champions of the I-League and ISL. The club has launched its Soccer…

Share