ISL 2017: ATK to adopt British style of football this season
ATK will take on Kerala Blasters in the opening match on November 17.
What's the story?
ATK coach Teddy Sheringham announced during a recent media event that his team will adopt a British style of football , unlike the previous season, where they were seen with a Spanish flair in their play.
In the previous seasons, the coach, the owner, and the management were all Spanish, but the change of hands will see more of British influence in the Kolkata-based side.
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Previously, the club was in a tie-up with Spanish giants Atletico de Madrid, with Antonio Lopez Habaz guiding them to cup glory in the inaugural season, back in 2014. In 2016, Jose Molina was appointed as the coach of ATK, and it was under him that the side won their second ISL title last year.
ATK is the most successful club in the history of this tournament, having won it twice. This year, they have roped in Irish striker Robbie Keane to boost their frontline and defend their title.
The heart of the matter
During a media event for ATK’s kit launch, Englishman Teddy said, “The management was Spanish in all last three years and a few Spanish players (were there). I can only lead by the way I grew up as a young player and then a senior player. I will pass on what I know — that is the British mentality.
“The Indian players have been adapting well. It will be more of British style and I hope that will be good enough for the team,” he added.
During the unveiling event, the number 10 jersey was handed over to Robbie Keane, who is the marquee player for ATK this year. Indian playmaker Eugeneson Lyngdoh will also play a vital part for this unit, along with players like Prabir Das and Jayesh Rane.
With the ISL set to kick off on November 17, the teams are making their last-minute preparations for the annual event. ATK has already played 4 practice matches and are scheduled to play one more before they take the field against hosts Kerala Blasters in the first match of the season.
Meanwhile, ATK owner Sanjiv Goenka announced that a total of 10,000 seats will be made available for Rs.100 or less for ATK’s first home match this season against FC Pune City on November 26 at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium.
ATK probably have one of the best bunch of players among the 10 teams in the ISL, and is a frontrunner for the title this year also. But, consistency will be the main factor in the upcoming season, as the league will span over 5 months this time round. Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC will make their debut in the biggest ISL season till date.