The Telegraph
Monday , April 14 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

‘Would love to play for Kolkata’

Calcutta: The players, who are contracted with the IMG-Reliance, are excited about the prospect of the Indian Super League (ISL). The organisers of the ISL announced the names of team owners on Sunday and already the players are discussing about who will go to which city.

Ishfaq Ahmed said given a choice he would love to play for Sourav’s team. “Yeah, I would love to play for Kolkata franchise. This is the city where I made a name for himself. So why not play for the franchise also. This city has the passion and I will have the opportunity to see Sourav Ganguly from close,” he said.

Syed Rahim Nabi though doesn’t have any liking or disliking. “I am a professional footballer. So I cannot afford to pick and choose. One thing is for sure. This League, once it takes off, will be super hit. IMG-R is very professional when it comes to dealing with the players. I would give my best whichever city I would play for,” Nabi said. Nabi said not for once the thought of ISL not taking off crossed his mind.

“When we signed the contract, they were very clear about it. Yes, the tournament got delayed. But that’s okay.”

Nirmal Chetri said he wasn’t tense at all. “Yes last year the League got postponed. But IMG-R had told us not to worry. I was not losing my sleep over it. In fact, I was having sleepless nights since my club — he along with Ishfaq and Nabi are playing for Mohammedan Sporting on loan — was battling to beat the drop. Mohammedan Sporting also won their match against Rangdajied United FC,” he said.

Nirmal said his personal choice would be to play for the Kolkata or the Guwahati franchise. “This is my sixth year in Calcutta. So definitely I would like to represent the city,” Nirmal said.

Even his friend Sanju Pradhan wants to play for Sourav’s team. “My personal choice will be Kolkata. But any other franchise will be okay with me as well,” the Dempo player said from Margao.

Like Nabi, Rennedy Singh is also ready to play for any of the franchises. “Why should I choose? It’s IMG-R who will decide who will play for which franchise,” he said.