Souvik Chakrabarti and Anas Edathodika have become the first football players from the Delhi Dynamos Football Club to participate in a mutually beneficial player development initiative with A-League side Central Coast Mariners F.C.

The two mainstays of Delhi Dynamos F.C. last season have been in Australia for a week now undergoing trial sessions with the Hyundai A-League club Central Coast Mariners F.C. They have got this opportunity to train with the strong Gosford-based team in New South Wales during the ongoing trial stint.

The right back and centre midfielder are the first of potentially more Indian players to be exposed to a Hyundai A-League environment thanks to the relationship between Mariners’ Owner and Chairman Mike Charlesworth and the Delhi Dynamos F.C. Under the plan, the Delhi Dynamos F.C. players are not only getting top quality training during the trials but also might end up playing for the Central Coast Mariners main team in the A-League after the ISL, should they impress the club hierarchy and the coach.

Souvik and Anas were chosen for the trip Down Under following their impressive performances last season that helped Delhi Dynamos F.C. go all the way to the semifinals.

Anas joined the club last year and had won over everyone with rock-solid performances. Expectedly, he is thrilled at the opportunity and feels that the experience he is gaining out of the trials will turn him into a much better player.

“My last season’s experience in ISL with the Delhi Dynamos was in itself was something which was very motivating for me, having played alongside Roberto Carlos, John Arne Riise and Florent Malouda amongst other talented Indian and foreign players. I would like to thank Delhi Dynamos for providing me my first opportunity to train with a foreign club. I am back after my injury with the Indian team late last year, and I am looking to impress the Central Coast Mariners staff. I am very optimistic about my chances of being considered for selection in these trials.” Anas said.

Souvik Chakrabarti, who is with the club for his third consecutive season, has excelled in his role as central midfielder and is delighted to be Australia. He stated, “I am very happy with my experience in Australia so far, this is my first time here. I thank the Delhi Dynamos management and the Central Coast Mariners for giving me this chance. I have been training very hard with the assistance of the coaching staff here, and I am trying my best to gain most out of this and hopefully get selected.”

“It is a great opportunity for these young players. To go and play in different leagues, and learning different football cultures helps in the development of a player. I am sure it has been a unique experience for them, to go there and train with the club. They must be gaining a lot more insight into the game. These players are very talented and I am hopeful that they have been able to impress everyone in the club and made a strong claim at their chances to get selected for the club.” Gianluca Zambrotta, head coach of Delhi Dynamos F.C. was quoted on the latest development.

Founded in 2004, Central Coast Mariners are one of the most successful clubs in Australia, having won the Hyundai A- League Premierships twice and one Hyundai A-League Championship.

Michael Charlesworth, Chairman and Owner of the Central Coast Mariners F.C., is pleased with this new relationship with Delhi Dynamos F.C. and is hopeful of a long term association between the two clubs. He expressed his delight on the association and said, “The ISL is one of the largest attended leagues globally and is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. So yes, we want to get closer to the best players and create an opportunity for both clubs.”

Talking about the trials, assistant coach of the Central Coast Mariners F.C., John Hutchinson sounded very excited at the prospect of assessing Indian players for the very first time and is really very interested in watching the players in action. “It is very wonderful to have these young Indian players with us. We have put them under a fixed training schedule and they are doing well at it. They are very good professional footballers and the kind of work rate they are putting on the pitch is fantastic. It is good for our boys to have a look at them training. They are training very hard and without doubt will gain the necessary experience that they need,” Hutchinson said.

Delhi Dynamos F.C. president Prashant Agarwal believes that the association is the beginning of a new chapter in Indian football. “We wanted to build a definitive relationship between the two countries through football and our partnership with them is a step towards that.” he said.

“The ISL clubs are ambitious to play the AFC Champions league and it was only fitting for these players to go for a trial and train with the Mariners and learn a lot more about the game. Any kind of an exposure is a great opportunity for players and I am very hopeful of them getting through the trial. They have been our key players during the last season and if they are able to replicate the same form on the pitch in Australia, I am sure they will make through the trials.” Mr.Agarwal added.