Reigning I-League champion Aizawl Football Club had a terrific season last year where they shook the football world when they took the I-League trophy home in the most unexpected event of the year.
This year the Champions would look to maintain the golden period for the club that started last year. The champions will play will a friendly match against Chennaiyin FC (CFC) before the season kicks off on November 5 at SDAT-Nehru Park. A full-strength side including the coach and manager will be arriving in the city on November 3. Chennaiyin FC would be in high spirits as well after being received to a boisterous welcome upon return from pre-season training in Thailand. The Super Machans proved on Thursday why they’re deemed as one of the most passionate bunch of football fans in the country when close to 50 fans welcomed chennaiyin FC at Chennai International Airport as the Marina Machans returned to India for their final phase of pre-season preparations.
Aizawl is looking forward to playing against the former champion. After the match, the team is expected to leave the Southern metropolis on November 6. “It will be a good exposure for us and for them [Chennaiyin FC] as well,” said Hmingthana Zadeng, Aizawl FC’s manager. Hmingthana added that the friendly match with the John Gregory-coached team will be a good preparation for the ongoing domestic league back home in Mizoram. “We have our next match on November 10 at home, and certainly the match with Chennaiyin will help us.” he said.
Chennaiyin return to Chennai on the back of a 23-day camp in Thailand that saw them lock horns with local clubs Air Force Central, Thai Port and Bangkok United in friendly games. The South Indian giants kick off their ISL campaign against Goa on November 19.