Unpredictability is no more unpredictable in the world of I-League. Salgaocar FC won the trophy in its' comeback season,2010-11. Minerva Punjab scripted a winsome tale to tell last season, winning the championship in just its' second season. Upsets are a consistent part of I-League, yet, none expected Chennai City FC to be at the top halfway through the I-League. Chennai City FC were fighting for survival in the last two seasons finishing 8th on both the occasions. What led to such a turnaround? Let's have a look.
#3 The Youth Project
Chennai City FC's uprising has a lot to do with their youth development and scouting of local talents. The team is filled with local talents with few making waves through their constant performances. One being Edwin Vanspaul. The right-back has already provided 5 assists and stands just behind Dawda Ceesay, the captain of Churchill Brothers with six assists. The performance throughout the season especially against Shillong Lajong where he provided three assists and earned a penalty, had scouts' eyes glued onto him. Though formal offers have to be made, ISL clubs, ATK and NorthEast United have already shown interest in the right back.
The other full-back Ajith Kumar has already earned praises and is considered to be the left-back for the future. Romario Jesuraj, Gaurav Bora, Sri Ram has also chipped in with some brilliant performances. Michael Soosairaj has clearly laid a path for the youngsters to follow. Michael Soosairaj and Sinivasan Pandiyan were the breakout stars from the last season with one plying his trade for Jamshedpur FC and knocking at the doors of the national team and other back to Chennai City FC on loan after an unsuccessful stint for Chennaiyin FC.
The outcome seems to be sudden but the process to reach the zenith was long planned. “We want to give chances to players from Tamil Nadu. There is no point being a local club if all our players are from elsewhere. We have to go step by step, without taking a rash decision. It is a learning process for us and I think we will be competitive for years to come," Chennai City owner, Rohit Ramesh had told the Express back in January 2017.