Team Pune to kick start Hero ISL domestic player draft

MUMBAI: The Hero Indian Super League (ISL), on 21 July, conducted its ‘Clubs Sequence Selection’, based on which the central domestic player draft will be organised on 22 July and 23 July.

IMG football vice president global business development Jefferson Slack was entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the selection through a lot pick in presence of all the Hero ISL club representatives.

Among the six participating teams, Team Pune will be the first club to make its best player selection from the list of 84 Indian talents.

Pune will be followed by Mumbai City FC, Kerala Blasters FC, Team Bengaluru, Atletico de Kolkata and Delhi Dynamos FC, in order. The seventh and eighth teams participating in the draft will be team Goa and NorthEast United FC. These two teams have retained their set of 14 domestic players from their respective I-League tie-ups Dempo sports club with Goa and Shillong Lajong football club with NorthEast United FC. Pre selected players will be announced as the draft progresses.

The central player pool (CPL) proceedings will commence at 10 am on both the days, with each day featuring seven rounds of the draft.

The league, co-promoted by IMG-Reliance and Star India and supported by All India Football Federation (AIFF), will have 84 Indian footballers in the central domestic player pool. The league has made provision of additional seven players in the central reserve pool to serve as replacement in case of injuries or other emergencies. 

The CPL features a mix of seasoned, experienced senior national players and promising young talents from across the country. A total of 39 players have represented India at senior level and 22 of them are or have been a part of the national team set-up in the past two years.

ISL through a statement said, “The central player pool boasts of a combined 750 plus national team caps, proving the imperative experience at international level. In addition, 75 players have played a major role in their respective I-League teams in the past three years, with 29 of them leading their clubs to top three finishes. Emphasis has also been given to promote young players and to provide them with required experience through Hero ISL with 17 signed players in the under-23 year age category. Two players also vaunt of playing on international soil for various clubs.”

In terms of playing positions, the Hero Indian Super League has 27 attackers (forwards and wingers), 21 midfielders, 26 defenders and 10 goalkeepers. The pool includes 30 players on loan from four I -League clubs, as well as Free Agents who have been centrally contracted.

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