The Marina Machans are likely to bring in some reinforcements in the coming weeks to replace the departed players.
Chennaiyin FC have parted ways with four of their first-team players, as their re-build continues ahead of the next Indian Super League (ISL) season starting later this year. Tondonba Singh, Masih Saighani, Zohmingliana Ralte and Sanjiban Ghosh have all been released by last season’s finalists.
Among the four, Tondonba was the one to feature the most in Owen Coyle’s side in a topsy-turvy campaign last time around. He made nine appearances, managing some decent defensive stats but saw his position being taken away by the resurgent Jerry Lalrinzuala.
The NEROCA FC youth academy starlet earned his reputation for a brilliant breakout campaign in the 2017-18 I-League season and featured quite prominently in his two seasons with Chennaiyin. The 25-year-old will probably be picked up by another ISL side soon, after proving himself as a very capable squad player for the Marina Machans in recent terms.
Saighani also played 12 games for Chennaiyin FC last season, but was mostly used as a substitute to help seal results for Coyle’s side. The hard-hitting Afghanistan defender’s versatility and composure definitely helped Chennaiyin to mark their extraordinary turnaround and progress all the way to the final.
Zohmingliana also made only a handful appearances for Chennaiyin last season and was released after perhaps not matching the vision of new coach Csaba Lazlo, who will attempt to win their third ISL title. Experienced goalkeeper Sanjiban was only a backup to Vishal Kaith, watching the entire campaign from the bench and not making a single appearance.
Chennaiyin FC have handed new contracts to many youngsters and important first-team players who shone in their impressive campaign last season and are probably going to add more new names to their squad very soon. Lazlo will want some of his own recommended players at the club to help implement his philosophy with the two-time ISL champions as soon as possible.
The Marina Machans will definitely be aiming to find an appropriate replacement for last season’s top scorer Nerijus Valskis and perhaps also seek upgrades to the players they’ve recently released to head into the new season with a strong squad.