ISL clubs to pick best talent from Domestic Player Draft

Mumbai: The best of Indian footballing talent will be up for grabs when the franchises of the Hero Indian Super League vie among themselves to pick the players from the Domestic Player Draft in a three-day event which begins here on Monday.

The 84-player strong list will feature senior national team players like Subrata Paul, Gourmangi Singh, Nirmal Chhetri, Syed Rahim Nabi, N Mohanraj, Mehtab Hossain, Lenny Rodrigues, JejeLalpekhula, Francis Fernandes among others.

First day will see the League deciding club`s sequence for the draft through a lot pick, while the following two days will witness club representatives making their best choice through 14 rounds of draft system.

Six clubs Atletico de Kolkata, Delhi Dynamos FC, Kerala Blasters FC, Team Mumbai, Team Bangalore and Team Pune will be competing with each other in the player draft.

Team Goa and NorthEast United FC (for Guwahati) having retained their set of required 14 Indian players from their own respective I-League teams Dempo Sports Club and Shillong Lajong FC respectively, will not be active in player selection during the draft proceedings.

However, the names of their players will be announced at the draft as per the round sequence.

The Domestic Player Draft is an important landmark as it will set the tone for clubs` preparation and playing strategy for the inaugural season of Hero Indian Super League.

Hailed across the world as an equitable system of player allocation across participating clubs, the Central Domestic Player Draft would be held for the first time in an Indian footballing event.

Each club is mandated to recruit 14 Indian players from the Domestic Player Draft, towards the minimum squad of 22, which includes one marquee and seven international players as well.

Hero Indian Super League, co-promoted by IMG-Reliance and Star India and supported by All India Football Federation (AIFF), will have 84 Indian footballers in the Central Domestic Player Pool. The League has made provision of additional seven players in the Central Reserve Pool to serve as future replacement in case of injuries or other emergencies.

The Central Player Pool features a mix of seasoned, experienced senior national players and promising young talents from across the country. A total of 39 players have represented India at senior level, of which 22 players who are or have been part of the national team set-up in the past two years.

The Central Player Pool boast of a combined 750 plus national team caps, proving the imperative experience at international level. In addition, 75 players have played a major role in their respective I-League teams in the past three years, with 29 of them leading their clubs to top three finishes.

Emphasis has also been given to promote young players and to provide them with required experience through Hero Indian Super League, with 17 signed players are under-23 category.

Two players also vaunt of playing on international soil for various clubs.

In terms of playing positions, the Hero Indian Super League has 27 attackers (forwards and wingers), 21 midfielders, 26 defenders and 10 goalkeepers. The pool includes 30 players on loan from four I-League clubs, as well as Free Agents who have been centrally contracted.

Central Player Pool proceedings will commence at 10:00 am on July 22 and 23, each day featuring seven rounds of the draft. The Draft will be conducted in Rupees (INR).

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