NorthEast United FC assistant coach Khalid Jamil suggested that the club is trying to sign as many local players as possible for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 season.
The Highlanders have not been as busy as other ISL clubs in the transfer window this time but Jamil suggested that the club is in no hurry to sign players as they still have a lot of time left in the transfer window that only ends on August 31, 2020.
During an online chat with the club, Jamil spoke about their plans for the upcoming season. He said, “We have signed some Indian players. We have taken some local boys. Our target is to get as many local boys as possible. We are also looking at some foreign players. But we are not in a hurry. We still have a lot of time.”
The Mumbai-based coach who is also the head of youth development at NorthEast suggested that they had started scouting for the youth teams as well as their reserves side but due to the nationwide lockdown amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, their activities got halted.
“Before the lockdown, we had started scouting for the U-13, U-15, U-18 and also the reserve team. After the lockdown, we will resume the process again.”
Jamil had taken charge of the club as their interim head coach for the final three matches of the ISL last season after Robert Jarni parted ways with the club. The Highlanders ended the season at the ninth position on the league table.
Speaking about the team’s poor performance last year, the former East Bengal coach said, “Last year the circumstances were different. Unfortunately due to injuries to key players we suffered. But this year we will work hard and aim for a play-offs spot.”
NorthEast United have signed midfielder Rochharzela from Aizawl FC this season and coach Khalid Jamil heaped praise on the 21-year-old midfielder. He even suggested that the youngster is worthy enough to replace Redeem Tlang who left the club to join FC Goa.
“Rochharzela is a very good player. He was with me at Aizawl FC. I think he can be a good replacement for Redeem (Tlang).”