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
SC East Bengal
Founded in August 1920, the club became affiliated with the Indian Football Association in 1922 before earning promotion to the Calcutta Football League first division in 1924. East Bengal made a last-minute dash into the Indian Super League (ISL) this season after Shree Cement limited picked up the majority stakes in the club.
The club is mainly supported by the immigrant population from the eastern region of Bengal, who were forced to leave their homes during. For those people, East Bengal Club became a source of identity and hope. The club dons the iconic red and gold colours, which gives it the nickname of the Red and Gold Brigade.
East Bengal has history and pedigree on their side and will look to take things on their stride in their debut campaign. The process started with the hiring of a high-profile coach in Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler. The former England international’s arrival was a signal of intent, given his high stature.
Fowler brought in a big team of backroom staff including a set-piece coach in former Blackpool manager Terence McPhillips something which Indian football had never witnessed before. They have also added forensic psychologist Nicola McCalliog to the team’s support staff, just a week ahead of its high pressure derby against arch-rival ATK Mohun Bagan.
Major Transfer News and New Signings
Goalkeepers: Sankar Roy, Debjit Majumder, Md. Rafique Ali Sardar, Mirshad Kootapunna.
Defenders: Gurtej Singh, Narayan Das, Samad Ali Mallick, LalramChullova, Mohammed Irshad, N Rohen Singh, Abhishek Ambekar, Rana Gharami.
Midfielders: Sehnaj Singh, Bikash Jairu, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Yumnam Gopi Singh, Wahengbam Angousana, Md. Rafique, Moirangthem Loken Meitei, Surchandra Singh Chandam.
Forwards: Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh.
East Bengal have also signed some highly-rated foreigners. Scott Neville, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Anthony Pilkington, Danny Fox, Matti Steinmann, Jacques Maghoma are some exciting talents.
For the first time, the biggest derby in the world, The Kolkata Derby also which is known as “Boro Match” will be played in the ISL. This fixture is traditionally played between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan and both the clubs have been merged in the ISL this season. The fixture is almost 100 years old and the intensity could not be higher.
After having decided to take charge of SC East Bengal, Robbie Fowler did not hide his excitement of being involved with a club that has a 100-year heritage. SC Bengal will be hoping to go all the way and challenge for the title for sure.