The powers that be at ATK are looking to become worthy of playing internationally and making a team next season that can meet up to the challenges that come with playing in continental competitions, owner Sanjeev Goenka said. ATK won an unprecedented third Indian Super League (ISL) title on Saturday.
They have thus qualified for an AFC Cup playoff spot next season. However, Mohun Bagan won an AFC Cup group stage spot with their I-League victory. The two clubs are set to play as one entity next season in the ISL after a merger that was confirmed in January when the RPSG group bought a majority stake in Bagan.
FC Goa finished at the top of the ISL table which means they qualified for the AFC Champions League group stage.
“We congratulate FC Goa for getting the AFC Champions League spot. We hoped to get it, but they had more points and had played better at that point. The mission is to become worthy of playing internationally and making a team that can compete effectively and hopefully win there as well,” Goenka is quoted as saying by goal.com.
The new entity is set to come into effect on June 1 and thus far, Goenka said they have signed Manvir Singh and Subhashis Bose to add to the players that won the league.
“It is difficult to individually list out players. It was an exceptional performance and I express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to each and every player,” he said.
“Prabir (Das) came back from an injury and made such a huge mark. Roy (Krishna) and Edu (Garcia) were brilliant, Javier (Hernandez) yesterday, what a performance. Sumit Rathi, a youngster who cemented his place in the team. Jayesh (Rane) played in a different position. Pritam (Kotal) was extraordinarily mature. Arindam (Bhattacharya) saved his best for the last two matches.
“Till now we were planning for this season which just got over. Now with the I-League and ISL under our belt, we will start planning for the next season which starts tomorrow. But as far as we are concerned, the two signings we have confirmed are Manvir Singh and Subhashis Bose. We are happy to have them.”