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ISL: CFC striker Sylvestr ready for Indian challenge
Chennaiyin FC (CFC) failed to keep hold of Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 ‘Golden Boot’ winner Nerijus Valskis for the seventh edition, but the two-time title-winner may well have found an able replacement in Jakub Sylvestr.
Slovakian striker Sylvestr, who penned a one-year deal last week, takes immense pride in wearing the Chennaiyin ‘blue’ and is determined to give opposition defenders the blues in the forthcoming season, scheduled to begin in Goa on November 20.
“I haven’t followed the league and my team closely over the last few years. But, I am aware that we are a club that has achieved good success in a short period of time. So, I have high standards to maintain. While leading the line, I will try my best to score many goals,” 31-year-old Sylvestr told DT Next via e-mail.
An unknown quantity in Indian football, former Slovakia international Sylvestr comes into ISL 2020-21 on the back of rich goal-scoring form in the Israeli top division, the league from which CFC scouted Valskis ahead of the previous season.
Giving an insight into his style of play, Sylvestr explained: “I work hard and love to score goals. Even at Chennaiyin, that will be my objective. I like to be involved in the thick of things and link up well with my teammates. I consider myself a fast and agile striker who can play across the forward line.”
After spending the first 13 years of his career in Europe – with spells in homeland Slovakia, Croatia, Germany, Denmark and Israel – Sylvestr is stoked about making his debut in Asia. “It is a new continent, new challenge and new family. I have experienced different cultures, so I am really excited for the Indian challenge with CFC. I hope to bring my experience to the fray and help my team succeed,” he said.
Owing to the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the country, India’s top flight will be held behind closed doors across three venues in Goa. Those associated with the clubs and the league will remain in a bio-bubble through the course of the competition. Chennaiyin’s new recruit stressed that everyone will have to adapt to the new environment.
“It will be a unique experience on the field. But, teams around the world are coming to terms with the current situation. We have to get used to it. In the bubble, we will be together as a team. It will be important to strike team chemistry off the field to deliver on the pitch,” concluded Sylvestr.