The Bollywood star believes other centers of the north east will also be given their chance to host ISL games in the following editions...
John Abraham, Bollywood star and now co-owner of North-East United FC of the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL), has clearly stated that he believes having a pre-set squad for the tournament, unlike the other teams is not an advantage, whilst also stressing that their participation comes with the aim of improving their grassroots program.
North East United FC have picked their domestic players from Shillong Lajong and Abraham doesn't buy the argument that it gives them an advantage of any sort.
“It’s not an advantage. I think all we have is our systems in place. It’s only Dempo and us who have our teams in place. We’ve chosen our partners that way. My partner was the owner of Shillong Lajong FC, so we have our team set," he told Star Sports.
“Guwahati has become our centre for logistical reasons. We have a national stadium there and it's easier in terms of accessibility. I’d like to re-iterate my love and gratitude to be able to play in Guwahati. But from the second year onwards we’d like to move to Shillong. Then Aizwal or Imphal. Even this year, we’re trying to play three games in Shillong,” elucidated John on the choice of venues.
Asked what North East United’s biggest strength was, Abraham said, “We’re picking our squad largely from an Under-19 and Under-20 team. This is because our grassroots program is very strong and that’s one of the reasons why we’re here in the ISL.”
“One of our friends, who’s a pilot by profession and did a scouting agent course as well, helped in securing (Joan) Capdevila for us. I think it’s the marquee siging of the tournament as we have a World Cup and Euro winner here playing for us,” revealed on how they enticed Capdevila to join them.
Finally, quizzed about his participation in cheering his team on John stressed, “Yes, Of course I’m going to be cheering my side on. I’m going to go for every game in the North East and not just the North East, but also in the other centres for sure.”