Team Profile: Is third time the charm for Jamshedpur?

Jamshedpur FC will go into their third Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) season with renewed enthusiasm, vigour, a new head coach and a new-look team. Having finished fifth and narrowly missed out on a semi-final berth in their previous two forays, Jamshedpur will look to curb their unfortunate 'trend of five' and cross the hurdle, at the least.

With the Hero ISL 2019-20 just around the corner, here’s an overview of how the Jamshedpur FC squad is shaping up.

TRANSFERS: IN AND OUTS

With Tim Cahill having retired and Sergio Cidoncha and Mario Arques joining rivals Kerala Blasters, the Jharkhand-based club has roped in a host of Spanish players to add to their two retained foreigners - Spanish defender Tiri and Brazilian midfielder Memo Moura. The likes of Piti, Noe Acosta, Sergio Castel and Aitor Monroy bring experience and a lot of creativity to this side going forward. With Jerry Mawhmingthanga and Michael Soosairaj's departure, fans will hope Isaac Vanmalsawma, who arrived from Chennaiyin FC, can shine in the wings. Joyner Lourenco's addition is aimed at adding some extra stability to Jamshedpur's backline.

Two players who are key to Jamshedpur's fortunes next season are youngsters Amarjit Singh and Narender Gahlot. The two young guns made their debuts for the Blue Tigers recently and will be expected to play a significant role in their first Hero ISL campaign. Veteran striker CK Vineeth’s addition to the front line will also add some valuable experience to the squad.

AT THE HELM

Jamshedpur FC have appointed Spaniard Antonio Iriondo as their head coach. Iriondo, a replacement for his fellow countryman Cesar Ferrando, comes in with almost three decades of experience of coaching several Spanish Segunda B clubs like Toledo, CD San Fernando, SS Reyes and others. Having coached in 985 matches over his career, this is the 65-year-old head coach’s first stint outside his home country.

STRENGTHS

Having missed out on a semi-final spot despite having come so close in the previous two seasons, Jamshedpur FC will go into Hero ISL 2019-20 with a solid midfield. While the likes of Memo and Amarjit screening the defence from deep, the likes of Piti, Noe Acosta, Monroy and Isaac will have plenty of freedom to wreak havoc in the opposition half. In Sergio Castel and Vineeth, the team also possesses two very experienced forwards in addition to their roster of promising young strikers like Sumeet Passi and Farukh Choudhary. The goalkeeping department is also well-stocked with the ever-reliable veteran Subrata Paul in the squad, backed up by the highly-rated youngster Niraj Kumar.

AREAS OF CONCERN

Despite the addition of players like Joyner and Narender, Jamshedpur's defence will be heavily dependant on Tiri. Over the years, the centre back has established himself as one of the most coveted centre backs in the Hero ISL and his experience and leadership qualities will be key for Jamshedpur. With very little cover for the ace in the squad, any injury to the Spaniard will be a hard prospect for the team to cope with, leaving them vulnerable at the back.

SQUAD:

GOALKEEPERS: Subrata Paul, Md. Rafique Ali Sardar, Niraj Kumar, Amrit Gope

DEFENDERS: Augustin Fernandes, Jose Luis Espinosa Arroyo (Tiri), Narender Gahlot, Joyner Lourenco, Robin Gurung, Keegan Pereira, Karan Amin, Jitendra Singh

MIDFIELDERS: Aitor Monroy, Francisco Medina Luna (Piti), Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Noe Acosta, Md. Mobashir Rahman, Bikash Jairu, Emerson Gomes De Moura (Memo), Isaac Vanmalsawma

FORWARDS: Sergio Castel, Aniket Jadhav, Sumeet Passi, Farukh Choudhary, CK Vineeth

With a revamped squad, can Jamshedpur FC qualify for their first Hero ISL semi-finals? Leave your predictions in the comments below:

Your Comments