Feisty Fikru can't wait to get started

Feisty Fikru can't wait to get started

Ethiopian will play for Chennai in ISL II

Feisty Fikru can't wait to  get started

 He was one of the lethal weapons in Atletico de Kolkata’s armoury in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League (ISL).

Be it his delicate chip over Mumbai City FC’s Subrata Pal in the opening game of the season, or the well-controlled shot past North East United’s goalkeeper Rehenesh TP, Fikru Teferra always had the opposition defence in a spot of bother.

Tormenting the defence with his pace and imposing himself with his physical prowess, Fikru will undoubtedly be one of the crowd favourites when the new season kicks off in less than 10 days. The Ethiopian, though, will be turning out for a different team, having moved to Chennaiyin FC.

“It’s been great so far. I am looking forward to it (new season). I had a really good time playing for Atletico (de Kolkata) in the first season and I am looking forward to doing my best for Chennaiyin FC this time around,” said Fikru in an interview with Deccan Herald.

Fikru was instrumental in Atletico’s surge with five goals from 12 games before a hamstring injury sidelined him for the later part of the competition. But what prompted him to change sides for the second season?

“In football things change quickly. After the end of my contract with Kolkata, I was playing in the South African top division for Bidvest Wits. I knew many ISL teams were interested in me but Marco Materazzi called and we had a very positive discussion. That convinced me to join Chennaiyin FC,” said the 29-year-old.

With Materazzi once again opting for a dual role in the Chennaiyin setup, the Ethiopian said that the Italian’s man-management had made life easy for him in Chennai.

“It has been an amazing experience so far. Yes, it is a challenge. They have certain expectations from me and I do my best to meet them.

“But all said and done, I eagerly look forward to working with the guys every single day. Especially with Marco (Materazzi), because I think the best thing about him is that he understands the players and that makes it very easy for all of us to adjust well,” he said.
One of the consistent teams in 2014, Chennai had finished on top of the league table, but failed to get past a determined Kerala Blasters side in the semifinal. But Fikru was confident that his side will settle for nothing less than the title this time.

“I think last year was unfortunate. The team played really well to top the league table, but could not get past Kerala in the semis. But this time the objective is simple, we want to win the trophy,” he stated.

Apart from Fikru, Chennai was also active in the players’ auctions roping in midfielder Thoi Singh and goalkeeper Karanjeet Singh to bolster their squad. 

“I think the squad has a good mixture of youth and experience. The new players have been welcomed well and made to feel at home by the players from last year, coaching staff and the management. We are like one big family and I am sure that we can achieve our goal if we stick to our game plan,” he added.

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