The two clubs have been at the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as transfer activity is concerned.
Chennaiyin FC have confirmed the departure of midfielders Isaac Vanmalsawma and Chris Herd along with goalkeeper Nikhil Bernard from the club. While Isaac moves to Indian Super League side Jamshedpur FC on a permanent transfer, Chris and Nikhil leave the Marina Machans following the expiry of their respective contracts.
Born in Mizoram, Isaac made his national team debut in 2016 against Bhutan. He also represented the Under-19 Indian team in the AFC Under-19 qualifiers in Qatar 2013. Isaac, also has vast experience in playing in the I-League with Shillong Lajong and Indian Super League with Pune City FC and Chennaiyin FC.
Isaac becomes the sixth Indian recruit for the Men of Steel after Joyner Lourenco, Keegan Pereira, Niraj Kumar, Jitendra Singh and Narender Gahlot.
On signing with Jamshedpur FC, Isaac added, “I am extremely happy to join Jamshedpur FC and take my career forward. I am looking forward to being part of such a talented squad. I can’t wait to start working with my team-mates and hopefully we can achieve great things together.”
Jamshedpur FC, CEO, Mukul Choudhari added “Isaac has proven himself to be a hugely talented, young midfielder, who has all the attributes we are looking for. He is a perfect fit to the team and we are confident he will be a success. We welcome him to the family of Jamshedpur FC.”
Isaac was a versatile influence on the Chennaiyin midfield, deployed by Head Coach John Gregory on the wings as well as in the middle. He made 20 appearances for the club across the ISL, Super Cup and AFC Cup; registering two goals and one assist in the process.
On the other hand, Chris Herd joined Chennaiyin FC midway through the 2018-19 campaign and made five appearances in the ISL. He then had three instrumental displays in CFC’s run to the Super Cup final, unfortunately missing out in the decider through suspension. The Australian defensive midfielder then played seven times in the AFC Cup, even finding the back of the net in the 2-0 home win over Nepal’s Manang Marshyangdi Club in the group stage.
Nikhil Bernard joined the Marina Machans after a stint at Gokulam Kerala FC, ahead of the recently concluded season. He departs without making any senior team appearances.