I-League 2016/17: Chennai City FC announce their manager for their debut season
One of the latest I-League additions, Chennai City FC, have announced A. Robin Charles Raja as their head coach for their debut season in the tournament. The South Indian football club's president Rohit Ramesh revealed to Deccan Chronicle that appointing Raja was one of their priorities.
The 50-year old manager has previously managed Chennai Customs and Hindustan Eagles. The Tamilian has led both the teams to glory in the senior division league. The new Chennai City FC head coach has also brought success to Chennai FC last season.
Raja has been outstanding in the lower leagues
Raja again did a good job by leading the Tamil Nadu Football team to the Semi-finals of the Santosh Trophy earlier this year. However, the AFC 'A' license holder does not have any experience in managing an I-League side and that is the only concern for him. There is no doubt in his skills, but can he maintain it in a bigger competition like the I-League is the question. Despite the concern, Chennai City FC have decided to hand him the job of managing the side in the upcoming I-League season.
A. Robin Charles Raja had confirmed earlier this year that he received offers from I-League second division club Southern Samiti. He also had revealed that he was approached by Guwahati FC.
Chennai City FC's announcement of their manager has come shortly after the AIFF confirmed the addition of the club along with Minerva Punjab FC to the I-League. The Tamil Nadu club, which was formed in 1946, will now become the third oldest club in the league behind East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
Fit to compete with the big boys?
The club was founded during the pre-independence era by five friends, SV Kanagasabai, E Vadivelu, TR Govindarajan, PV Chellappa and K Ekambaram. Since then, the team have participated in local and state competitions. This will be the first time that the club is taking part in a big national league. Chennai City FC will also be the second team from Tamil Nadu to take part in the top division after the Indian Bank team played in the National Football League.
The new I-League entrants are also planning to tie-up with English club Bury FC, who play in England’s League One. Former Indian National team player Bhaichung Bhutia was once with Bury FC during 1999-2002 and a tie-up with the club will bring better infrastructure and quality to Chennai City FC.
Chennaiyin FC and ISL have brought love for football among the local people and they will be excited to see representation for their city in the I-League too.