Kolkata: Manuel Lanzarote was announced as the captain of the two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK at the jersey unveiling of the team, here, on Thursday
The 34-year-old Spanish midfielder has 13 goals and six assists to his name for FC Goa in the last season of ISL. Manuel along with Kalu Uche and Everton Santos are set to be the attacking trio lined up for ATK this season.
ATK has been the champions twice but suffered a torrid season laden mostly by injuries in the last edition. This season, however, looks to be promising for one of the league’s most successful teams.
“I am eagerly waiting for the start of the tournament. have had a fruitful preseason in Spain where we got our chance to test all our players and now it is time to prove our mettle on the stage that matters,” Steve Coppell, the head coach of ATK, on the sidelines of the jersey unveiling.
The pre-season had started late August in Spain and ended on 13th of September. The team faced 1 loss and 2 wins out of the three practice matches in the Pinatar Arena Football Center.
Kalu Uche, a former Delhi Dynamos center forward was in fine form for the Dynamos last season and will be burdened with scoring the goals for the Kolkata outfit this season.
Andre Bikey once again reunites with coach Coppell in the Indian circuit. Bikey has played under Coppell in Jamshedpur FC previously and should be very familiar with the style Steve wants his men to play in this season of ISL.
Coppell, who guided Kerala Blasters to a runners-up finish in his first season, and took debutants Jamshedpur FC to a creditable fifth place finish in 2017 has a promising attitude to bring back the two-time champions into their winning form. ATK, finishing 9th in the last season are clear of their winning intention by roping in players like Uche, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, and Bikey among others.
“We are happy to unveil the team’s new jersey for the upcoming fifth season of Indian Super League. The jersey is the symbol of the strength and the passion the club carries with it. We are quite excited after the preseason and the players are raring to go.” Says Mr. Sanjiv Goenka, principal owner of the franchise.
Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharya, Avilash Paul, and Debjit Majumder.
Defenders: Aiborlang Khongjee, Andre Bikey, Arnab Mondal, Gerson Vieira, John Johnson, Lalhmangaihsanga ‘Sena’ Ralte, Prabir Das, Ricky Lallawmawma, and Ankit Mukherjee.
Midfielders: Cavin Lobo, El Maimouni Noussair, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Hitesh Sharma, Jayesh Rane, Komal Thatal, Malsawmzuala, Manuel Lanzarote Bruno, Pronay Halder, and Sheikh Faiaz.
Forwards: Balwant Singh, Everton Santos, and Kalu Uche.