The long-awaited 15th season of the Hero I-League has begun and the number of teams participating this season has grown from 11 to 13 with the inclusion of three new clubs Sreenidi Deccan FC led by Fernando Varela, Rajasthan United FC and Kenkre FC.
Sreenidi Deccan FC is the first club from the Telugu states to be a part of the I-League. SDFC is a club based in Vizag trying to improve the football ecosystem in both the Telugu states. Ahead of their debut I-League game against NEROCA FC tomorrow, coach Fernando Varela and midfielder Mayakkannan addressed the media in the pre-match press conference.
Fernando Varela on the pre Season and IFA Shield
“We had a good pre-season in Hyderabad and IFA Shield. We are ready to fight to get three points in every game.”
“The IFA Shield games were important for the players, me and the whole team. It helped us to improve ourselves and correct our mistakes. It is important to play a competition before we start playing in the I-League to make ourselves ready for the league”
On Sreenidi Deccan FC’s future plans
“The chairman KT Mahhe called me to Hyderabad before signing me and showed me the vision and project of the club. I was impressed by the vision and the way they want to support Indian Football by providing good facilities for the players, staff and budding footballers.”
“Sreenidi Deccan FC is trying to create a good base for grassroots along with making the first team competitive. We are a new club, with new players but with the support of the management I am sure we will be competitive throughout the league”
On the I-League and NEROCA FC
“NEROCA has Indian players with experience, it will be difficult to play against them but we have a team with quality players who can fight for three points in every game”
“It is difficult to predict which clubs are top contenders as every club has experienced Indian players and good foreign contingent, the level of the league is improving as each season passes by. With the games, we have watched in Durand and IFA Shield, I think Real Kashmir FC and Mohammedan SC will give top fight”
Mayakannan on his move to Sreenidi Deccan FC
“We have been training for three months in pre-season, we are focused on I-League now and to win the first game. I hope to get my name on the scoresheet more than once this season”
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