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ISL 2020-21: Bosnian defender Enes Sipovic joins Chennaiyin FC

Enes Sipovic at Umm Salal.
Enes Sipovic at Umm Salal.
Modified 21 Sep 2020, 14:35 IST

Indian Super League (ISL) side Chennaiyin FC announced the signing of central defender Enes Sipovic for the 2020-21 Indian football season. Sipovic will become the first-ever player from the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to play in the Indian Super League.

Enes Sipovic is an academy junior to Edin Dzeko at FK Željezničar

Enes Sipovic began his playing career at Bosnian side FK Željezničar. He came up through the youth ranks of the Plavi. Sipovic graduated from the academy in 2009. AS Roma legend Edin Dzeko was also the part of the same academy till 2003. After his youth career, he penned his first professional contract with Otelul Galati in Romania and stayed there till 2015. His stint at the Romanian club included two loan spells at Petrolul Ploiesti (Romania) and Farul Constanta (Romania).

Sipovic moved to Western Europe for the first time as he joined Belgian side Westerlo in the 2015 season. He then moved to Africa and joined Morrocan side Ittihad Riadi Tanger. The central defender joined Renaissance Sportive de Berkane in Morrocco after his two-year stint with Tanger.

Enes Sipovic entered Asian football in the 2018-19 season when he joined Saudi side Ohod. Sipovic returned to his boyhood club Željezničar for a single season stint in 2019 before returning to Asian football by joining Qatar Stars League side Umm Salal for the 2019-20 season. He played 23 games, scored one goal and kept 9 clean sheets.

“I was instinctive that India will be my next destination. I am very happy to be part of such a beautiful club. I have been following Chennaiyin since its very first season in 2014 under Marco Materazzi, and I am aware that it is a team that has a tremendous fanbase and is incredibly successful. I am already very excited for the new season. It will be a great experience, I am sure,” said a buzzing Enes Sipovic from the Bosnian capital city of Sarajevo, his hometown.

Where does Sipovic fit in at Chennaiyin FC?

“Enes (Sipovic) has all the qualities to succeed at CFC and in the ISL. He is an imposing presence in the air with his height and is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet. I am sure he will strike a great partnership with Eli Sabiá in defence and will be the perfect addition to our squad in terms of guiding our Indian defenders as well. He has experience of playing in Asia, specifically in more extreme conditions like in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which I am certain will hold him in good stead in India,” said Chennaiyin’s manager Csaba László.

Enes Sipovic's addition to the squad will allow Chennaiyin FC to stabilise themselves in the defence. With the departure of Lucian Goian from the squad, the 2-time ISL Champions needed a like-for-like replacement at the heart of the defence. Sipovic's arrival will do the same. With Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai and Reagan Singh as the primary back four, Csaba Laszlo's defensive line-ups looks settled already.

Published 21 Sep 2020, 14:35 IST
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