2020–21 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season will be the 7th edition of the top professional football league in India. The season will start from 20th November 2020 and is expected to end by March 2021 without any COVID interruption. This year’s season will be hosted behind-closed-doors across three venues in Goa due to the ongoing pandemic in India.
The Venues: GMC Stadium Bambolim, Tilak Maidan Stadium, and Fatorda Stadium
Defending Champion: Atlético de Kolkata FC (Will be competing under the new name ATK Mohun Bagan this season
Runners Up: Chennaiyin FC
League Shield Winners: Goa FC
Last Season standing of Kerala Blasters FC: Seventh position
Kerala Blasters FC
The biggest festival of Indian Football is coming back. The carnival of football will be celebrating its 7th year. The Coronavirus pandemic might have tamed the preparations and arrangements a bit but the fans can’t wait for ISL to be back. Even though it will be played behind closed doors, but the fans are ready. Social media is heating up. The banter game is firing up.
Kerala Blasters FC is one of the sleeping giants of the tournament. They have failed to reach the play-offs for the past three seasons and are determined to turn the tables this time around.
After a disappointing seventh position finish last season, Kerala Blasters FC have sacked the previous coach Elcho Schattorie and have appointed Spaniard Kibu Vicuna as their new coach for the 2020-21 campaign.
Kibu first coached a team when he was only 16 years old. He has coached the Osasuna youth team and a number of clubs in his native Spain and Poland.
Kibu was appointed as the head coach of Mohun Bagan in 2019 and won the I- League with them in his maiden season with Mohun Bagan. After the merger of ATK and Mohun Bagan, Kibu’s contract was not extended.
On April 2020, Kerala Blasters FC appointed him as their new head coach.
Major Transfer News and New Signings
In response to a disappointing finish last season, the Kerala Blasters management has decided to make some major changes at the club.
Karolis Skinkys was appointed as their new sporting director along with Kibu Vicuna as the new head coach. The then CEO of Kerala Blasters Viren D’Silva also left the club.
Iconic defender Sandesh Jhingan left the club after a long six years. Kerala Blasters have decided to put their faith in young Indian players in pursuit of their first ISL trophy. Nishu Kumar from Bengaluru FC was signed on a 4-year deal. Givson Singh who performed well for the Indian Arrows was signed on a 3-year deal. Puitea, Rohit Kumar, Ritwik Das, and Prabhsukhan Gill are the other major signings for the season
The Blasters have also signed a new roster of foreign players which were Facundo Pereyra, Costa Nhamoinesu, Bakary Kone, Vincente Gomez, and Jordan Murray.
In addition of signing new players, the Blasters have also extended the contract of some key players such as Sahal, Rahul KP, and Jessel Carneiro.
Any match played in Kerela is a steamy affair as the Blasters are one of the most fiercely supported clubs in all of Asia. Ever since the club’s forming, they have repeatedly registered the highest league attendance every year of the competition. Hence teams despise playing Kerala Blasters at their home turf.
ATK Mohun Bagan has had the better of Kerala Blasters over the years and have defeated them in two league finals. Losing to ATK will not be acceptable this time around.
Kerala Blasters have invested huge sums of money not just in players but also to alter the management of the club. This hopefully will steer the club in the right direction.
From having considered a force to be reckoned with during the initial seasons of the tournament where they reached two finals in three years to not reaching the playoffs in the past three seasons, the club has lost it's status as a giant.
Kerala Blasters have the best fans and any other team would be envious of their fanbase. Even though the fans have stuck through thick and thin, it is high time to reward the Yellow Army with the long-awaited trophy.
Goalkeepers: Albino Gomes, Bilal Khan, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Muheet Khan
Defenders: Costa Nhamoinesu, Nishu Kumar, Bakary Kone, Jessel Carneiro, Sandeep Singh, Abdul Hakku, Lalruatthara
Midfielders: Sergio Cidoncha, Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Seityasen Singh, Rahul KP, Givson Singh, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Yendrembam Denechandra, Nongdamba Naorem, Arjun Jayaraj, Ayush Adhikari, Jeakson Singh, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Ritwik Das, Rohit Kumar
Forwards: Gary Hooper, Jordan Murray, Facundo Pereyra, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Shaiborlang Kharpan