Chennaiyin FC skipper Anirudh Thapa believes the upcoming Durand Cup will help the players get accustomed to new head coach Thomas Brdaric’s playing style before the Hero Indian Super League. Chennaiyin FC will begin their Durand Cup campaign against the Indian Armed Forces team Army Red on August 20 at KLS, Imphal.
The Marina Machans are placed in Group C of the tournament along with Army Red, Hero ISL champions Hyderabad FC, NEROCA FC, and TRAU FC.
Meanwhile, in his recent head coach role, Thomas Brdaric led KF Vllaznia to the Albanian Cup for two successive seasons. The team finished as runners-up in the Albanian Cup in the 2020-21 season.
Brdaric has the experience of coaching the team in 75 matches, in which the side has won 50 while 15 games have ended in draws.
“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,” Thapa said to the Bridge.
The 24-year-old from Dehradun added the upcoming tournament, which begins on August 16, will be crucial for the team as they will get the game time and also an opportunity to understand the coach’s playing style as a lot of new players are added to the squad.
“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,” stated Thapa.
Chennaiyin FC will look to hit the ground running at Durand Cup and come up with a collective show.