Calcutta: Atletico de Kolkata picked up seven players on the first day of the two-day Indian Super League (ISL) Domestic Player Draft and head coach Antonio Lopez Habas said that he was happy with the proceedings.
Arnab Mondal, Mohammed Rafi, Mohammed Rafique, Rakesh Masih, Cavin Lobo, Biswajit Saha and Denzil Franco were the seven from the 42 players up for grabs on Tuesday in Mumbai that came into the Calcutta franchise stable.
Habas told The Telegraph that the technical team had done a good job with their research. “We are happy with the draft. It’s a balanced squad with some experienced players and upcoming talent. “The technical team had a good study on their choices. I believe the chosen players will fit to my system,” the Spanish coach said.
Assistant coach Jose Ramirez Barreto said, under the circumstances, he was happy with the players they have got. Barreto would have liked to pick up some big names who were on offer on Tuesday.
“Yes, I would have wanted to have players like Mehtab Hossain, Nirmal Chettri or Joaquim Abranches. But we were fifth in the order of Club Sequence Selection. That meant some of the players we wanted were picked up by the teams ahead of us,” he said.
Having said that, he added: “I am happy with the players we got. There will be more selections on Wednesday. I think we made the best of the circumstances. They are all good players and our team will have the balance that’s needed.”
The city franchise had already roped in Spanish star Luis Garcia as their marquee player and signed up Borja Fernandes, also of Spain.
While Wednesday will see the rest of the domestic players being chosen by the team, the international players’ draft, scheduled for next month, will feature 49 players.
Utsav Parekh, co-owner, said: “Our team is in the safe hands of our head coach and assistant coach. I am sure that these gentlemen, ably supported by their experience and keen understanding of the sport and its specific requirements, will make the correct decision.”