The Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ team is set to compete in the upcoming Second Division League that is slated to begin on March 16, 2018. Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ will be one of seven ISL clubs fielding reserve teams (except ATK, NorthEast United FC and Mumbai City FC) in the eighteen-team Second Division League, the second tier of Indian football. And Chennaiyin’s ‘B’ team is pitted against the reserve teams of ISL compatriots Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC in the same group.
The Second Division League will begin with a preliminary round that involves the eighteen teams divided into three groups of six teams each. Apart from exciting clashes against reserve teams from BFC and JFC, CFC ‘B’ will also lock horns with TRAU FC from Imphal, Langsning FC from Shillong and Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting in Group C. The preliminary round will begin on March 16, 2018 and go on till May 15, 2018 with the teams playing on a home and away basis.
The Second Division League promises to be the perfect platform for the talented Chennaiyin FC ‘B’ team to gain big-game exposure, with the squad comprising fifteen AIFF Elite Academy graduates and the best young players from across Tamil Nadu. With CFC Technical Director for Youth Development & First Team Assistant Coach Syed Sabir Pasha as their Head Coach, CFC ‘B’ will be raring to go against teams from some of the country’s footballing hotbeds, looking to prove their mettle and stake claim for a spot in the CFC senior squad. Their previous outing ended in penalty shootout heartbreak against Bengaluru DFA in the quarter-finals of the Don Bosco Fr. McFerran Trophy All India Football Tournament last month, in what was the Chennaiyin ‘B’ team’s first tournament.
The three preliminary group winners and the best 2nd placed team qualify for the final round of the Second Division League scheduled for May 21-27, 2018 at a central venue wherein they play each other in a single-leg league system to decide the winner that is promoted to the next tier of Indian football. However, if a reserve team of an ISL club finishes first or second in the preliminary group, the position will be passed on to the next non-ISL team.
The announcement of CFC ‘B’ competing in the Second Division League comes a day after the CFC U13 team won the Chennai zone in their debut season and qualified for the final round of the National Under 13 Youth League, having won all of their eight group matches. The CFC U15 team also recently played in the National Under 15 Youth League after having won the Chennai zone in their debut season.
Second Division League preliminary groups:
Group A: Real Kashmir, Lonestar Kashmir, Delhi Dynamos FC (reserves), Hindustan FC, Delhi United, FC Pune City (reserves)
Group B: Madhya Bharat SC, FC Goa (reserves), Kerala Blasters (reserves), Ozone FA, Fateh Hyderabad AFC, FC Kerala
Group C: TRAU FC, Langsning FC, Mohammedan Sporting, JSW Bengaluru FC (reserves), Jamshedpur FC (reserves), Chennaiyin FC ‘B’