The Kerala Blasters, Cochin's representatives of the Indian Super League (ISL) from God's own country, announced their squad ahead of the second edition of India's most watched football tournament.
The announcement coincided with the arrival of the Master Blaster's arrival in the city to unveil his squad with the principal sponsors, the Muthoot Pappachan group.
Tendulkar claimed at the event, "I'm very sure that this year we would like to go out and better our performance than last year. Kerala Blasters is happy but not satisfied with their performance and there is always room for improvement and we will continue to get better," reminiscing on the Blasters' 'nearly' moment in the ISL last year when they reached the finals of the competition only to lose to eventual champions Atletico de Kolkata.
With due reverence to his team's sponsors, the record-breaking former Indian international cricketer, added, "I would like to thank Muthoot Pappachan Group for continuing their support to Kerala Blasters. We have enjoyed our association with Mr. Thomas George Muthoot and his entire team and look forward to making this second season even bigger for the scores of fans of Kerala Blasters. ISL has made tremendous impact and provided a great platform for young Indian players to hone their skills and play with some of the best players from across the globe."
Tendulkar concluded by praising the Blasters' fans not just in Kerala, but around the world, stating, “I can't forget the fans who made our journey so special. I would like to make a request to all fans, continue to love us, continue to support us, we value your support."
The Blaster's team did reveal a few surprises, with notalbe absentee in the form of Nirmal Chettri. The former Dempo SC defender underwent a surgery few days back and has been left out. Blasters had roped in Rahul Bheke to join their training sessions but wasn't named in the final squad on Wednesday.
"Blessed to went through successful operation. Gutted to miss the preseason of @KBFCOfficial. Recovery starts now. Thank you everyone for your messages. Will miss few months of action. Looking forward to the fast recovery. I will come back stronger," revealed the former Dempo right-back, on his exile from the ISL's season 2, on his official Twitter account.
The squad for the Blasters, in the 2015 edition of the ISL, is as follows:
Head Coach – Peter Taylor
Coach - Trevor Morgan
Asst. Coach - Ishfaq Ahmed
Forwards – Mohammed Rafi, CK Vineeth, Chris Dagnall, Antonio Timothy German, Sanchez Watt, Manandeep Singh
Midfielders - Mehtab Hossain, Victor Herreco Forcada, Joao Coimbra, Cavin Lobo, Peter Carvalho, Shankar Sampingiraj, Josue Currais Prieto
Defenders - Carlos Marchena, Peter Ramage, Marcus Williams, Bruno Perone, Gurwinder Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Saumik Dey,
Goalkeepers - Sandip Nandy, Stephen Bywater, Shilton Paul.