ISL 2017/18: "Proud to be the most successful team in ISL," says Chennaiyin co-owner Vita Dani after league win
Fresh off their title-winning triumph just on Saturdau, Chennaiyin FC, champions of the 2017/18 Indian Super League, touched down in Chennai on Sunday.
Almost the entire squad of players entertained their fans at a meet-and-greet session organized by the club at their training ground in the city. Fans were able to interact with some of their heroes and click pictures with them.
Post that, one of the co-owners of Chennaiyin, Vita Dani, held a press conference at the team hotel to mark the occasion of the club's second ISL triumph.
Dani expressed her pride at the team's achievement. She said, “I am very proud to announce that we are the most successful team in the ISL. I can say that confidently after looking at all the stats and data. We have made Tamil Nadu proud.”
She went on to highlight the crucial role played by coach Gregory, who took over the reins after three years of Marco Materazzi.
“John has played a very important role, especially when we had to bounce back from last season. It is under his leadership that the team has performed so well,” said Dani.
“We have won two cups for Tamil Nadu now and both were under different circumstances. Both are equally important and they are for our fans,” she added.
On the question of whether Gregory's services would be retained after this fantastic achievement, Dani replied, “We have tied him up for the next season. It was a year to begin with because that's how he preferred it as well.”
That will certainly be good news for fans of the club as they will get to see some continuity next season as well.
After the final whistle on Saturday, Bengaluru keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu caused a stir when he said on live television that he thought the Blues were already the champions because they had won the league phase. Their coach Albert Roca also seemed to suggest that some of his players were not particularly happy about having playoffs after the league phase.
When asked for her take on the format of the ISL, Dani felt it wasn't a big deal.
“I don't think it really matters. Season 1, we topped the league and still lost the trophy. The format does not matter. But what is important is how we played in the final. I think we've been one of the most consistent teams in the entire league and it is a deserved victory,” she exclaimed.
With the win, Chennaiyin also clinched a spot in next season's AFC Cup. They will become the very first ISL team to take part in the continental competition after the rule was introduced for this season. The significance of it was not lost on the owner who said, “I take great pride in saying we are the first ISL club to get a spot in the AFC Cup.”