How Kerala Blasters could line up in ISL 2023-24
Alen Philip Mathew
Some Kerala Blasters players are currently in national ceam, but the line-up is prepared thinking about the long run.
Kerala Blasters are gearing up for the 10th edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). Despite not having won the ISL Trophy yet, the club and its passionate fans are filled with hope and determination to clinch the coveted title this season.
The team finished fifth in the previous term, marred by a controversy involving a walkover in a match against Bengaluru FC during the quarter-finals. Under the guidance of Serbian head coach Ivan Vukomanović, Kerala Blasters are eyeing their best performance yet. The team has made significant signings, including notable Indian and foreign players, such as Pritam Kotal, Kwame Peprah, Prabir Das, Ishan Pandita, and Daisuke Sakai.
GK: Sachin Suresh
Sachin Suresh, a 22-year-old talent, is likely to be the first-choice goalkeeper for Kerala Blasters in the upcoming season. Having joined the team in 2020, he has gradually become an part of Blasters senior team. His recent appearances in the Durand Cup matches and preseason games have showcased his potential, and he is expected to make a significant impact in the ISL.
RB: Sandeep Singh
Sandeep Singh, a 28-year-old fan-favourite from Manipur, has been with Kerala Blasters since 2020. His versatility, having played in multiple positions, has been invaluable in challenging situations. Despite injuries last season, Singh managed 37 ISL appearances (overall), contributing 42 interceptions and 79 clearances, along with a goal and two assists.
CB: Marko Lešković
Marko Lešković, a 32-year-old former Croatian international, has been a vital presence in the KBFC squad for the past two years. With a history of playing for prominent Croatian clubs, he brings considerable experience to the team. His 63 interceptions and 148 clearances in 36 ISL matches demonstrate his defensive reliability.
CB: Pritam Kotal
Pritam Kotal is a significant addition to KBFC’s defense this season. With 143 ISL appearances, five goals, eight assists, and an impressive 256 interceptions and 548 clearances, Kotal is the most capped player in the ISL.
LB: Aibanbha Dohling
The 27-year-old defender, Aibanbha Dohling, joined KBFC in the recent transfer window. With 44 matches of ISL experience under his belt, he brings the necessary defensive prowess, having contributed 60 interceptions and 76 clearances during his time at FC Goa.
RW: Rahul KP
Rahul KP, a 23-year-old Kerala-born winger, represents both Kerala Blasters and the Indian national team. His experience with Indian Arrows and the subsequent move to KBFC in 2019 has seen him play 51 matches, contributing seven goals, four assists, and 27 chances created. Rahul KP is expected to provide a significant boost to the squad.
CM: Danish Farooq
Danish Farooq, a 27-year-old midfielder, joined KBFC during the January transfer window in 2023. His ability to contribute both offensively and defensively, adds depth to the squad. His 14 interceptions and 14 clearances demonstrate his defensive capabilities.
DM: Jeakson Singh
Jeakson Singh has been a core part of both Kerala Blasters and the Indian national team. His remarkable journey, including scoring India’s first-ever goal in the U-17 World Cup, showcases his talent and potential. With 68 ISL matches, two goals, two assists, and 101 interceptions, Jeakson continues to evolve.
LW: Adrian Luna
Adrian Luna captains the team. His footballing journey through clubs like Defensor Sporting, Espanyol, and Melbourne City before joining KBFC in 2021 highlights his experience. Luna’s 43 ISL matches include 10 goals, 13 assists, and an impressive 105 chances created.
CF: Dimitrios Diamantakos
The 30-year-old former Greek international, Dimitrios Diamantakos, joined KBFC last season. His prior experience with major Greek clubs adds depth and experience to the squad. Diamantakos scored 10 goals and provided three assists from 21 matches, showcasing an average of 0.48 goals per game.
CF: Kwameh Peprah
The 22-year-old Ghanaian forward, Kwame Peprah, is a recent addition to the KBFC roster. With previous stints at clubs like King Faisal, Orlando Pirates, and Maritzburg United, Peprah brings valuable experience and goal-scoring ability to the team.