Utility player Iqbal and Satyasagara previously worked together at Gombak United and Hougang United in their homeland Singapore. Combining with familiar face Satyasagara for a third time in his professional career, Iqbal, who can operate as a striker or winger, hopes to light up the I-League, which begins in Kolkata on January 9.
“Satyasagara first coached me when I was a 15-year-old. It feels great to be reunited with him as I know what he expects from the team,” Iqbal, one of the four overseas recruits in the Chennai City contingent, told DT Next via e-mail.
“He has belief in me and my abilities. He also knows about the passion I have for football. I always dreamt of playing abroad and I am happy to start my journey in India,” said Iqbal, gearing up for his first stint outside Singapore.
Although the I-League 2021 will mark his debut in Indian football, Iqbal, who has signed a short-term deal, is eager to make a mark and guide CCFC to glory in the 11-team event.
“For now, I have a clear target, which is to help Chennai City win some silverware. I hope to contribute via goals and assists. In the near future, I would like to take part in the Indian Super League (ISL). But, let me take one thing at a time,” he added.
The 27-year-old Singapore international is expected to line up alongside Serbian centre-forward Demir Avdic in the attacking third. Asked if he has had conversations with his strike partner, Iqbal responded: “We have been roommates since the first day. We have been discussing a lot on how to help the team both offensively and defensively. I am sure that we will put our best foot forward.”
CCFC will open its campaign against Gokulam Kerala FC (GKFC) on Saturday and Iqbal said that the club is raring to perform well. “I am pretty excited for the competition to begin. Even though it is only a short pre-season, the players are training hard and working together during practice sessions,” concluded Iqbal.