Rahul Bheke to lead the Islanders as Coach Des Buckingham announces all-Indian squad for Super Cup

With the 2023 Hero Super Cup on the horizon, Mumbai City have announced an all-Indian 24-member squad for the cup competition.

Head Coach Des Buckingham has named Rahul Bheke as captain ahead of the tournament who will lead a squad that comprises of a strong domestic unit that has formed the core of Mumbai City in recent years. 

The Islanders’ squad for the Super Cup will feature a fine balance of experienced heads and youthful potential. Rahul Bheke, Bipin Singh, Mehtab Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Phurba Lachenpa were recently called up to the Indian National Team off the back of a stunning season in the Indian Super League, winning the League Shield, and will be eager to carry their form into the Super Cup. 

The Islanders’ squad also boasts of burgeoning talents like Apuia Ralte, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Vikram Partap Singh and Sanjeev Stalin who, despite their young age, have become integral parts of the Mumbai City set up under Des Buckingham’s tutelage. 

Furthering our commitment to developing Indian talent, a chance to gather competitive experience and exposure awaits some of the Islanders’ brightest young talents like Gyamar Nikum, Halen Nongtdu, Ayush Chhikara and Gurkirat Singh to name a few as they prepare to face India’s top clubs in the domestic cup competition. 

Looking ahead to competing in the Hero Super Cup with an all-Indian squad, Head Coach Des Buckingham spoke about the quality of the players in the squad: “I’m excited to take a strong Indian side to the Super Cup. It allows us to do a couple of different things this year, whilst also trying to continue playing the football that we want. We’ve got a very strong group of players that helped us be successful this year, and the Indian core made up that not only because of the quality that we’ve been able to build here at the club over the last couple of seasons, but also the depth, and that’s been so important to us to achieve the success that we have over the last 12 months. I’m excited to see what we can now do in the next tournament we play in and it’s one I’m very much looking forward to.” 

“The club has spent a lot of time trying to develop and have the best Indian players here at the club. When I look at the squad we will take, we had 5 players that went to the national team, 4 of which actually took to the field, which was a wonderful thing to see and for them to be successful. But of the squad, we’ve had 12 if not 14 of the squad which will feature now in the Super Cup playing regularly or as starting players for us this year. They’ll also now be surrounded by a lot of the younger players who may get opportunities to get more game time, but the focus for us will be on trying to perform, to the levels we have all season, whilst also making sure that these players can really showcase what they can do.” 

Mumbai City FC have been named in Group D, along with Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United with either Real Kashmir or Churchill Brothers set to take the last spot in the group. The Islanders will start their Super Cup campaign against either Real Kashmir or Churchill Brothers on April 11 at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri, Kerala with the game set to kick off at 5.00 pm IST. 


Goalkeepers: Phurba Lachenpa, Mohammad Nawaz, Bhaskar Roy, Ahan Prakash

Defenders: Rahul Bheke (captain), Amey Ranawade, Mehtab Singh, Sanjeev Stalin, Mandar Rao Dessai, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Gursimrat Singh Gill, Halen Nongtdu, Hardik Bhatt

Midfielders: Rowllin Borges, Vinit Rai, Asif Khan, PC Rohlupuia, Apuia Ralte

Forwards: Vikram Partap Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Gurkirat Singh, Bipin Singh, Ayush Chhikara, Gyamar Nikum


April 11: MCFC vs Real Kashmir/Churchill Brothers | 5:00 PM | Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 15: NorthEast United vs MCFC | 8:30 PM | Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 19: MCFC vs Chennaiyin FC | 8:30 PM | Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

Also Read: Home is where the heart is for Malappuram’s prodigal son Abdul Hakku

Also Read: Last two Hero Super Cup Group Stage slots up for grabs

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