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ISL sponsorship: Hero triples investment at Rs 1.6 bn

MUMBAI: Hero MotoCorp has, for another three years, reportedly renewed its sponsorship arrangement with IMG Reliance and Star India-promoted Indian Super League (ISL) for Rs 1.6 billion. As Hero's last deal with ISL in 2014 was valued at approximately Rs 500 million, it has now tripled its investment in ISL.

Meanwhile, it’s a dream come true of magnanimous proportions for three college boys who have emerged from the ambitious inaugural Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) campus football championship. If luck is on their side – the trio could step into the league of extraordinary footballers through the upcoming Hero Indian Super League 2017-18 Indian Players Draft.

Mumbai lad Umesh Perambra, and Ajith Sivan and Akshay Joshy from Kerala have been drafted in the Hero ISL Players Draft scheduled on Sunday, 23rd July in Mumbai. The talented trio first caught the eye of AIFF scouts during RFYS championship finals in January 2017 and soon were invited for the India U-23 AFC Championship Qualifiers selection camp under Stephen Constantine in Mumbai.

Umesh Perambra, a central defender who played for Thakur College (Mumbai) was impressive at the back for his team as they made it to the RFYS College Finals this January. He is an attack minded defender and will be keen to get an opportunity to hone his skills in the ISL.

Young Akshay Joshy was spotted at RFYS representing his college Sacred Heart, Kochi while Ajith Sivan is the third college boy to sign for the draft. The midfielder stood out in the RFYS finals despite his Nirmala College – Kochi ending up on losing side against Charuchandra College (Kolkata).

As the ISL Indian Player Draft unfolds on Sunday, it will be a day of anxiety for the friends and family members of the trio, as they wait with bated breaths.Mrs. Sheela Joshy, Akshay’s mother, is ecstatic to see her son on the brink of breaking into professional football.

“As Keralities, we are really excited on Akshay getting this opportunity in the ISL draft. It’s a huge moment for us. Akshay has always dreamed of playing football – this is a proud moment for him and our family, for him to feature in the Draft.

“We would love if Akshay gets picked by Kerala Blasters, but we will support any team that Akshay would get a chance to play.”

Hero ISL 2017-18 Player Draft will witness a total of 15 rounds. The sequence for selection of Player Draft rounds for each club will be determined by a draw of lots on Saturday evening.

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