Chennai City FC, an I-League team, has entered into a partnership with Finnish club JS Hercules with an aim to provide its local players a chance to train and play in Europe. The tie-up was announced here today by Chennai City FC owner Rohit Ramesh and JS Hercules chairman Mikko Perala. The Chennai club, which finished eighth in the recently- concluded I-League, and the Finnish third-tier side, announced a series of on and off-field collaborations. As a first step, four Chennai City players -- Soosai Raj, Edwin, Nandakumar and Beauti -- will travel to Oulu in Finland to train with the JS Hercules team for a period of one month, Ramesh told PTI here. They would also get to play in the Finnish league while a return visit of Hercules players, management and coaching staff has been planned for October. "The tie-up will provide an opportunity for our players to train in Europe and also get used to playing in different conditions by taking part in the league there. "Also, we will look at the possibility of using some of their (Hercules) players in our teams for various leagues and tournaments," Ramesh said. He further said that in case any of the Finnish clubs find the Chennai players good enough they would get a chance to feature in the country's league. He also added that JS Hercules would help Chennai City in foreign player recruiting for the coming season. "Hercules is an English-speaking club. So, there will be no language barrier for our players.
This is a long-term partnership and we will like to learn from each other. It is also an opportunity for us to learn about the administrative side of football," Ramesh said. "The tie-up will offer a platform for players of both the teams to improve skills and help each other in learning more about the game," he added. Queried about the performance in the I-League, where the team finished eighth, Ramesh said, "Despite the fact that we got a late call-up to be part of the prestigious League, we did fairly well. I am sure the club will do well in the years to come." Chennai City FC had recently emerged winner in the Chennai Football Association Senior Division League championship. Hercules' chairman Perala and other top officials of the Finnish club, who are in the city, discussed a range of issues with Ramesh. The Hercules officials said that a "beginning has been made and both parties will benefit from the partnership".
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