Season Preview: After bringing up the rear, Hyderabad FC look to improve in a big way

Image credit: HydFCOfficial @Twitter

Hyderabad FC did not have the best of debuts during the 2019-20 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) campaign, finishing at the bottom of the league table with two wins in 18 matches. After a summer of rebuilding, the outfit, however, looks all set to improve their performance on the previous season.

After Albert Roca left the club to join FC Barcelona’s as a fitness coach, Manuel Marquez was brought on board as new head coach. The Spaniard has a big responsibility on his hands to make Hyderabad FC a serious force to reckon with.  

To assist their experienced personnel like Adil Khan, Souvik Chakrabarti and Laxmikant Kattimani, a whole new bunch of young Indian players has been brought in besides roping in the services of some seasoned Hero ISL stars like Halicharan Narzary and Subrata Paul.

Having also lost their highest goal-scorer from last season, Marcelo Pereira (7), the club have signed Aridane Santana from Odisha FC in a bid to boost their strike force. The Spaniard, who scored nine goals in 14 matches last season, is a proven threat in the opponent’s box and will be looking to have an even better season in Hyderabad FC colours. Hyderabad FC have also brought in his Spanish compatriot Fran Sandaza, and Australian forward Joel Chianese, and both can inflict a lot of damage on the opposition teams.

These experienced frontmen will look to impart their know-how to the young strikers in the Hyderabad attack. 22-year-old Liston Colaco, who already has two goals to his name, is joined by Lalawmpuia and both will look to get some valuable game time. The remaining two forwards are Rohit Danu and Ishan Dey, who are yet to feature in a Hero ISL game.

Marquez will be working with a young defensive line-up, with only one foreign defender in their ranks. Spaniard Odei Onaindia will pair with new-arrival Chinglensana Singh, meanwhile, Souvik and Adil can move back to join the backline when required and Asish Rai can be more than a handful too.

Despite being a relatively young team, Hyderabad FC can surprise quite a few teams this season. They did beat seasoned teams like Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC last season and they will only get better with more exposure. Marquez has the right talent to build a team for the future. Having also tied up with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund as well as Spanish side Marbella FC, the future looks bright for Hyderabad FC.

Best Finish: 10th in the 2019-20 Hero ISL

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Laxmikant Kattimani, Manas Dubey, Subrata Paul

Defenders: Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Dimple Bhagat, Kynsailang Khongsit, Nikhil Prabhu, Odei Onaindia, Sahil Panwar

Midfielders: Abhishek Halder, Adil Khan, Sahil Tavora, Halicharan Narzary, Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor, Laldanmawia Ralte, Lluis Sastre, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Souvik Chakrabarti, Sweden Fernandes

Forwards: Aridane Santana, Fran Sandaza, Ishan Dey, Joel Chianese, Lalawmpuia, Liston Colaco, Rohit Danu

Fixtures:

vs Odisha FC – November 23

vs Bengaluru FC – November 28

vs Jamshedpur FC – December 02

vs ATK Mohun Bagan – December 11

vs SC East Bengal – December 15

vs Mumbai City FC – December 20

vs Kerala Blasters FC – December 27

vs FC Goa – December 30

vs Chennaiyin FC – Jan 04

vs NorthEast United FC – Jan 08

*Fixture list announced as of now

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