The Indian football season is back and it all starts with Durand Cup action as many teams will use this tournament to get some gametime under their belt. Many teams like Chennaiyin FC have gone through an overhaul and have appointed a new coach in Thomas Brdaric, so it will be interesting to see how they turn up at the historic tournament which starts August 16 onwards.
Recently Chennaiyin FC skipper and India international shared that the Durand Cup will be extremely important for many clubs as it will help the players and coaches who are here for the first time to know each other. Overall he believes that it will be a good preseason for his team to kow head coach Brdaric more going into the season.
The Durand Cup which is the third oldest football tournament in the world will for the first time see all the ISL clubs participating along with five I-League clubs and also teams from the Armed Forces. The historic tournament for the first time will be held in three cities – Imphal, Kolkata and Guwahati.
“Durand Cup is different, ISL is different. We know the value of ISL. We will know what (style) we will be playing, what teams we will be playing. And that’s the Durand Cup for us. Obviously, it is important. It’s not that we are just playing for fun. But more of it is to get to know each other, and what all we need to do to perform in the ISL,” Anirudh Thapa shared in an interaction with The Bridge.
Chennaiyin FC have had a overhaul in terms of foreigners aswell and they will also need time to settle to a new style of play in a new country. So the Durand Cup can be a place where they can get accustomed according to the Chennaiyin FC captain. “For us, it (Durand Cup) is important. We have a new team. The foreigners are new. So, we need that game time to get used to the style the coach wants from us. Rafa (Rafael Crivellaro), who was out (injured), also needs that game-time. I think these matches are important to get along with each other,” Thapa concluded.
The Marina Machans are in Group D along with Armed Forces team Army Red Football Team, I-League outfit TRAU FC and NEROCA and ISL champions Hyderabad FC. Chennaiyin FC will start their Durand Cup proceedings on August 20 against the Army Red Football team.