The Indian Super League outfit Chennaiyin FC has announced Anirudh Thapa as their captain ahead of the 2021-22 season. The two-time ISL champions are ready to hand more responsibility on the shoulders of the young midfielder. The 23-year-old has already won the ISL once with Marina Machans and was the vice-captain last season.
"I think not much has changed for me after being appointed the captain. I have been here for six years now and so it's not hard to understand what the club wants," Thapa said in response to the announcement. The upcoming season is a vital one for the outfit which finished the eighth last season in a disappointing fashion. Ambition is to get back to winning ways and qualify for the playoffs at the very least. For this reason, the club has brought in Bozidar Bandovic as head coach and key new signings.
Becoming captain at a young age is a great achievement for Thapa. He has previously won the ISL Emerging Player of the Season award while helping the team win the ISL trophy in his second season with them. The Dehradun-born midfielder has over 69 matches in the league, scoring five goals and providing nine assists in the process.
Ready for the challenge
Despite the magnitude of the responsibility on his shoulders, Thapa seems to be ready for it. In response to becoming the captain he further said that, "They (the club) want to win. And so do I. But as captain, there is an added responsibility. To grow up a little bit faster. I will still be a boy who loves football but I will also ensure that the team stays together on and off the field. And I will always protect my team and my players."
Anirudh Thapa is showing a lot of ambition for his age and the squad will definitely feed off his energy. This decision by the club management could pay dividends to come to the end of the upcoming ISL season.
Having said that, one thing is for sure, If CFC aims to succeed in the future, then Thapa will be a central part of it. He will play a pivotal role in the midfield and it will be interesting to see how he handles the responsibilities of being the captain. This could also be a great interview for a national team captaincy in Thapa's future. He will lead the team in the forthcoming ISL season first-time against Hyderabad FC on 23 November 2021.