Jamshedpur FC's home ground is also called 'The Furnace', but their performances last season did not live up to the intimidating moniker. Jamshedpur FC managed only four wins in the entire 2019-20 season of the Indian Super League and finished eighth in the league table with just eighteen points.
However, Jamshedpur FC have Owen Coyle at the helm this season, who took Chennaiyin FC to the final after joining midway through the 2019-20 campaign.
The experienced coach has added a number of new signings to bolster the Jamshedpur FC squad, and with some key performers from last season chipping in, he can hope for a much better campaign this time around.
We look at five players who will be important for Jamshedpur FC this season.
A full Nigerian international, 26-year-old Stephen Eze joins Jamshedpur FC to bolster the centre-back position. Towering above others at six-foot-six, coach Owen Coyle has said that Eze has the potential to be "one of the best centre-backs in the ISL."
Considering that he has the endorsement of Coyle, there is no doubt Eze will be a starter for the team. Defence was one area where Jamshedpur FC were weak last season, and his switch from Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Bulgarian top division means that the team is better prepared than last season in that department.
Amarjit Singh Kiyam may seem like a left-field choice to many in this list, but despite being young, the midfielder delivered some truly eye-catching performances for Jamshedpur FC last season.
From being the Indian captain in the 2017 U-17 World Cup to becoming one of the most important midfielders in the Jamshedpur FC setup, Kiyam is known for his ability to win the ball back and recycle possession.
Never afraid to put his head where it hurts, Kiyam's grit and determination will be vital to the team as they hope to bounce back from a disappointing 2019-20 campaign.
Peter Hartley is another new signing for Jamshedpur FC who is expected to form a formidable partnership with Eze at the back.
As far as signings go this season, Hartley's is one of the most high-profile, having captained Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership to a third-place finish last season, only behind Celtic and Rangers.
The fact that he chose Jamshedpur FC and Owen Coyle as the site of his next football adventure says a lot about the motivation and determination with which he joins the team.
Hartley has played 418 matches in his career since his senior team debut in 2007, keeping 122 clean sheets and scoring 37 goals in the process. At Jamshedpur FC, the Englishman is expected to raise the collective levels of the whole group.
Valskis was the Golden Boot winner in the 2019-20 Indian Super League season, the only scorer for Chennaiyin FC in the final and an all-round threat in the penalty box. Valskis linking up with Coyle again this season promises to be a nightmare for all the defences in the league.
Not only did the Lithuanian score sixteen goals last season, all from open play, he also racked up six assists, demonstrating that he is more than just an out and out centre-forward.
Valskis also spoke about continuing his journey in India under the tutelage of Owen Coyle and said, “We worked wonders as he lifted and motivated a squad that was struggling, resulting in a turnaround that helped us reach the final. I am looking forward to achieving more success with him.”
Expect Valskis to light up the league once again this season.
As far as the presence of young Indian talent in the Jamshedpur FC ranks goes, Gahlot is right up there with Amarjit Singh Kiyam.
He was a mainstay in defence in the last ISL campaign for Jamshedpur, and even though it remains to be seen if he becomes a regular starter under Owen Coyle once again, we can be sure that Gahlot will do everything he can to impress the coaching staff.
At youth level, Gahlot has played across the back line on occasions, and it will be interesting to see if a similar adjustment could be made with his club this season. Whether that happens or not, Gahlot's presence will ensure that the Indian youngsters at the club continue to maintain their high levels performances.Published 05 Oct 2020, 21:35 IST