CHENNAI: Winger Nandha Kumar became the third player from Tamil Nadu to join the ISL following his completion of a one-year loan move to Delhi Dynamos from I-League side Chennai City FC (CCFC). He follows the footsteps of former India players Dhanpal Ganesh and N Mohanraj who play for Chennaiyin FC and ATK respectively.
The 21-year-old Chennai lad emerged one of the key players for CCFC after he made his debut in the I-League last season. His impressive pace and movement with the ball on the left wing also earned him a maiden call-up to the India U-23 side, where he featured in two friendlies against Singapore. However, much to his disappointment, he has failed to graduate to the national side despite coach Stephen Constantine including 11 U-23 players in the probables list for the Asian Cup qualifier against Macau next month.
Nandha said that joining ISL might open the doors to the senior national side. “Most of the India players are playing in ISL. But more than that, I wanted to have the ISL experience. I wanted to know how it feels when you go up against legends like Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane. I am confident of my abilities and feel this is the right time to make the jump as this will give me the chance to learn more. ISL grabs more eyeballs and everyone will be watching. If I can perform well, a national call-up won’t be out of reach,” Nandha told TOI on Wednesday.