Chennaiyin FC co-owner Abhishek Bachchan exclaimed that the Indian Super League (ISL) entering its 10th season is a matter of great pride for all stakeholders of the sport in the country. Speaking on the sidelines of the match between Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC at the Mumbai Football Arena (MFA) last night, Bachchan earmarked this as a momentous feat for Indian football and expressed his gratitude to the fans for their support both to the Marina Machans as well as the ISL.

Abhishek, who has been associated with the league since its first season, said, “It’s an amazing feat for such a young league to be celebrating its 10th season. We are very proud of all the stakeholders, owners, team, and the players. It’s a momentous occasion for everybody associated with Indian football. It’s wonderful and a moment of great pride.” 

“Thank you for your support, thank you for supporting Indian football and Chennaiyin FC, and I hope that we can hope to entertain you all and play quality, good football for you all for many, many years to come,” he put across a warm message for all the fans of the league.

Chennaiyin FC made an impactful move in the summer prior to this season by appointing Scottish tactician Owen Coyle as the head coach of the club. This year, with a relatively young squad at his disposal, he has managed to take Chennaiyin FC into the top-six heading into the season break. Despite the 3-0 loss to the Islanders on Thursday, the Marina Machans are well in contention to qualify for the playoffs and take it one game at a time from there. Bachchan hailed Coyle as ‘family’, expressing confidence in his methods and track record.

“Owen is family, and we have always said that once you are a part of the family, you always remain a part of the family. Having him back is just a wonderful boost of self-confidence. He knows the club inside out. He is very dear and close to both Vita (Dani) and me. He knows the DNA of the club. We enjoy the style of coaching and the style of play that he infuses into the boys, and you can see a huge change in the squad already. It’s just half the season gone and he has made such a huge impact,” Bachchan said.

The club co-owner also encouraged his players to give it their all in the matches. Irrespective of the results, he wishes to see them put their 100% on the field in every single match. He acknowledged that the larger dream is to see them win matches and laurels, but hard work and determination are areas that they should not compromise on. He backed the boys to come back stronger in the second half of the campaign, with a belief that Coyle could have a stronger impact in the squad moving forward.

“The expectation is what is there every season. It’s to go out there and give it your best. We will try our best. As long as they put in the effort, I am very happy with them. I am glad to see that they have been putting in a lot of effort. But, it’s still early days. There’s still a lot more that Owen can impact onto the squad. I am very eager to see the end results. But, obviously, the aim, wish, and the dream is always to give it your best,” Bachchan signed off.

Post the match between FC Goa and NorthEast United FC in Guwahati today, the Indian Super League 2023-24 season takes a break for international matches, with India set to participate in the AFC Asian Cup campaign starting from January 12 onwards in Qatar.