Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season League Shield winners Mumbai City FC have named an all-Indian 24-member squad for the upcoming Hero Super Cup.

Drawn in Group D alongside Hero ISL clubs Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC, and Hero I-League side Churchill Brothers FC, local lad Rahul Bheke will lead the all-domestic unit in the tournament.

The Des Buckingham-coached side has a well-integrated domestic contingent that has been at the forefront of their record-shattering Hero ISL season. In attack, Indian players have netted 27 goals among the 54 they have scored this season – highest among any other team in the league.

Having a blend of professional players along with exciting youth prospects, the Islanders stand a good chance of showing the might of their Indian contingent in the Hero Super Cup. The likes of Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Lalengmawia Ralte have already shown their prowess, with Mehtab Singh and Phurba Lachenpa earning their first-ever callup in national colours in the recently held Hero Tri-Nation Cup.

The Islanders’ promising youth circuit featuring talents such as Halen Nongtdu, Ayush Chhikara, Gyamar Nikum, Asif Khan, Vikram Partap Singh, and Gurkirat Singh pose a great opportunity to show their proficiency in a competition that boasts some of India’s top sides.

Looking ahead to competing in the Hero Super Cup with an all-Indian squad, Buckingham spoke about the quality of the players in the squad. “I'm excited to take a strong Indian side to the Super Cup. It allows us to do a couple of different things this year, whilst also trying to continue playing the football that we want,” he said.

“We’ve got a very strong group of players that helped us be successful this year, and the Indian core made up that not only because of the quality that we've been able to build here at the club over the last couple of seasons, but also the depth, and that's been so important to us to achieve the success that we have over the last 12 months. I'm excited to see what we can now do in the next tournament we play in and it's one I'm very much looking forward to,” he added.

The two-time League Shield Winners became the first Indian side to earn back-to-back AFC Champions League Group Stage qualification following their 3-1 victory over Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Club Playoffs. From playing in the Champions League to the Hero Super Cup, the Englishman commented on the way his side has shaped ever since he took charge of the team as head coach.

“The club has spent a lot of time trying to develop and have the best Indian players here at the club. When I look at the squad we will take, we had 5 players that went to the national team, 4 of which actually took to the field, which was a wonderful thing to see and for them to be successful. But of the squad, we've had 12 if not 14 of the squad which will feature now in the Super Cup playing regularly or as starting players for us this year,” he said.

“They'll also now be surrounded by a lot of the younger players who may get opportunities to get more game time, but the focus for us will be on trying to perform, to the levels we have all season, whilst also making sure that these players can really showcase what they can do,” he added.

The Islanders will take on Churchill Brothers FC on Aprill 11 at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri, Kerala.


Goalkeepers: Phurba Lachenpa, Mohammad Nawaz, Bhaskar Roy, Ahan Prakash

Defenders: Rahul Bheke (captain), Amey Ranawade, Mehtab Singh, Sanjeev Stalin, Mandar Rao Dessai, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Gursimrat Singh Gill, Halen Nongtdu, Hardik Bhatt

Midfielders: Rowllin Borges, Vinit Rai, Asif Khan, PC Rohlupuia, Apuia Ralte

Forwards: Vikram Partap Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Gurkirat Singh, Bipin Singh, Ayush Chhikara, Gyamar Nikum