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Four FC Pune City Academy players to play in ISL

The draft will feature 10 clubs, including the new two entrants - Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC - who will vie for the finest footballers from a strong contingent of 200-plus Indian players. 

pune Updated: Jul 22, 2017 17:22 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,ISL,Academy
Amit Tudu is one of the four selected players.(HT PHOTO)

Apart from the well-known names, four 19-year-olds from FC Pune City's academy - Nijwm Muchahary, Amit Tudu, Kyntiew Shaphrang Kharlukhi and Surya Tirkey - will also be part of the Hero India Super League season 2017-18 Player Draft, scheduled to be held in Mumbai on July 23.

The draft will feature 10 clubs, including the new two entrants - Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC - who will vie for the finest footballers from a strong contingent of 200-plus Indian players.

Hero ISL regulations allow clubs to have a minimum of 15 and maximum of 18 Indian players in the squad, including two U21 development players, mandatorily. The clubs are allowed to retain a maximum of two senior players from their 2016 squad, in addition to retaining upto three U21 players to fill up the development player quota.

“Getting a chance to play in the ISL will be the biggest opportunity to showcase our skills. This will be a whole learning experience and I am quite excited about it,” said Tudu while talking to HT.

The Kolkata-based central defender has represented the Indian team at the junior level. In 2013, he played AFC under-16 qualifier and was part of the team that won SAFF Cup U-16 tournament same year. At the U19 level, the team was runner-up in SAFF Cup in 2015. He was also part of the team which won IFA Shield this year.

It wasn’t an easy path for the footballer as he came from a poor family background. Born in a family of farmers, it wasn’t easy for him to pursue his dream of playing footwall without the financial support. However, his father Mohammad Janin stood firmly behind him and allowed to explore the new ways.

“I am grateful that my family supported my passion. Others realised my talent when I started playing for national side, but it was my family which saw the spark in me when I was just a beginner. Now playing for ISL will be a great boost for my career and I am looking forward to it,” he said.

Amongst other Kyntiew Shaphrang Kharlukhi, a Shillong player also expressed his gratitude for the support FCPC Academy’s support.

“I am impressed with the training facilities FCPC provided to us. It was great experience to be here in this academy,” he said. Kharlukhi also featured in IFA shield winning team.

Meanwhile, Surya Tirkey – right back from Ranchi and Nijwm Muchahary – a striker from Assam will be part of the players’ draft on Sunday.

First Published: Jul 22, 2017 17:22 IST