Chennai City’s extraordinary journey to the top

Reason to celebrate: Chennai City FC reaped the fruits of executing their coach’s plans to perfection.

Reason to celebrate: Chennai City FC reaped the fruits of executing their coach’s plans to perfection.   | Photo Credit: S_SIVA SARAVANAN

The result of proper planning and hard work, says Akbar Nawas

For a team that was languishing at the bottom of the I-League table last season, finishing on top this year was something extraordinary.

So, the big question is how did Chennai City FC manage to turn fortunes in its favour in such a short period.

Ask Akbar Nawas, its coach, and he would say it was the result of proper planning and hard work.


Those who have watched the team this season will agree with Akbar, the man who brought about the great transformation.

His arrival, towards the end of last season, changed things for the better for Chennai City, whch completed the league on a high with 13 wins, four draws and three defeats.

But, the coach says he owes his success to the boys. "The players did it for me. Yesterday, I was talking to the players. I told them ‘if my name is up there it is because of you’. They put my name right up there on the map of Indian football," he told the media.

It was this fine understanding between the players and coach that brought the team the much deserved glory. There were some who said the Spaniards — Pedro Manzi, Sandro Rodriguez, Nestor Gordillo Jesus and Roberto Eslava — did the bulk of the hard work. They did but the boys from Tamil Nadu such as Sydney Vanspaul, Srinivasan Pandian, M. Regin, Alexander Romario to name a few, showed great understanding with the foreign stars like never before.

The way they jelled with each other in every match took everybody by surprise. Be it at home or away, they showed the kind of skill and energy that made them a strong contender, not at the start, but midway through.

They beat almost every team fair and square. They brought down Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan with relative ease. Of course, the team also faltered a bit, against debutant Real Kashmir and Churchill Brothers.

Fighting spirit

It did not matter much, however, as they believed in their ability to strike back and went on to script a historic win.

It was this fighting spirit that saw the team on top of the table from start to finish. Akbar was also given a free hand to pick, and work on his players by the Chennai City FC management.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 9:33:05 PM |

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