Delhi Dynamos are rearing to roar loud in the ISL 2017 with just the right mix of youth and experience in their side. The Delhi outfit would go into the season aiming for nothing less than a title. With Spanish coach Miguel Angel Portugal who has bundles of experience as a football manager and a lethal strike force in Kalu Uche, the Lions look all but ready to plot a strong title stride. Kalu Uche, the Nigerian international who has had the honour of scoring for his national side at the FIFA World Cup, 2010 will spearhead the Dynamos attack and will also don the captain armband for the coming season. Stating that he is aiming for glory, Uche reckons “I regret I couldn’t win it last time (with Pune) but I am here to lift the trophy with Delhi Dynamos.”
Having already played in an Indian setup before, Uche has had a smooth transition in the Delhi colours. He has previously represented FC Pune City in the Indian Super League, where he found the back of the net 4 times in his 11 appearances for the club. This time around with the Dynamos, the 34-year-old seems to have found his ideal breeding ground.”I believe in the players that we have and I think the coaching staff is doing a wonderful job,” he says about the revamped Delhi Dynamos squad. Despite having a significant amount of European football experience, Uche will have a job to do when he takes field in the white and red stripes. Delhi let go of strikers Keane Lewis and Marcelinho Dias and have put their trust on veteran Uche who looks set to repay with a good display on the pitch.
Talking about his understanding with coach Portugal, Uche mentions he has had a great relationship with him so far and it has been easier for him to break down his inputs and get other players stick to it as well. “Yes, it is very easy to understand each other. We have the same footballing philosophy as we have been in the same league for a long time. Whatever methods he is implementing in the practice sessions I am getting it very easily, because we both come from the same land.”
The likes of Alessandro Del Piero and Roberto Carlos have donned the Delhi shirt, on being asked if there is any pressure on him be under the spotlight and lead the side, the calm forward says, he has been practising for a good few months adding that the pre-season tour to Qatar and Spain and then back in India playing against some of the best local clubs has helped the team gel well and has also improved his game to an extent.
The Dynamos enjoy the ferocious rivalry with a pool of clubs including the Mumbai City FC, FC Pune City and the North East United. On being asked about who the Delhi Dynamos captain thinks will be the most stern defensive setup to penetrate, Uche says, “all the teams are of equal quality, I have no particular team in my mind, I am working every day to improve myself and gain confidence to help my team, 24 hours I am working to help my team.” Uche will be spending his second year in India and the love he gets from the Indian fans and the Indian players is amazing.
The World Cup scorer sees a great future of Indian football and reckons that the future is bright for India on the football pitch. “Indian football is in the right direction, U17was a great thing for Indian football especially for the young footballers. ISL too, it has attracted so many big stars which means something good is happening, the world knows big players are coming here.”
Uche will lead the revitalised Delhi Dynamos in the ISL 4 and will look to achieve success with the club in his maiden season as a captain. The Lions will open their account against FC Pune City on November 22nd in an away clash.