Indian Super League's new entrants Jamshedpur FC roped in a number of experienced players during the domestic drafts in Mumbai on Sunday, announcing the arrival of a new super-power in Indian football.
The Tata group backed franchise, which had the first go at the event, picked up India international Anas Edathodika for a whopping 1.10 crores in the first round. The Keralite central defender was in great form last season, plying his trade for Delhi Dynamos in the ISL and Mohun Bagan in the I-League.
The team, which has appointed Steve Coppell as its head coach for the season ahead, then picked up veterans Subrata Paul and Mehtab Hossain, who have been playing top-tier football for more than a dozen years now.
Bikash Jairu, an impressive winger who has the pace to burn, was not picked up in the first five rounds surprisingly before Jamshedpur took him during their turn while hard-working midfielder Souvik Chakrabarti and former India U-23 captain Shouvik Ghosh also joined the team.
Jamshedpur FC also has enough young blood in their squad, with the likes of Farukh Chowdhury, Sumeet Passi and Jerry Mawihmingthanga ready to fight for a place in the starting XI. Ashim Biswas, a former Mohun Bagan striker who has almost been forgotten in the national circuit, also got a lifeline.
The Tata Steel-owned franchise had to build a team from scratch from today's draft, due to which they entered the player-picking event from the very first round itself. The only other team which gave them competition in the first round was Delhi Dynamos since they chose not to retain any of their players.
Coppell, along with his assistant Ishfaq Ahmed, had helped Kerala Blasters reach the finals of the league last year, and will hope to go one step further in front of a fledgling fanbase of the new club.