Week 1 Rumours

As we approach the beginning of Season 4, there is plenty of excitement and lots of questions to be answered about each team. With over 15 new players spread out across all 6 teams in the league, there will be plenty of faces trying to make an impression. Each week throughout the season, we will be posting news and rumours from around the league so be sure to check back here regularly to find out what's up in BISL. 

Two transactions to announce from the first week: 
Zahid Merchant
, 3th round pick of Samarra FC withdraws due to hand injury. Samarra FC chose Hussam Ayubi as a replacement player.
Syed G Hussain, 6th round pick of Sham FC withdraws due to a knee injury. Sham FC chose Erdinc Simsek as a replacement player. 


Jerusalem FC vs. Hejaz FC (8:45PM on Field 3)

Jerusalem FC
Jerusalem FC return as the defending champions after finally beating their rivals Hejaz in a 3rd time’s the charm type finals. After their great success, remarkably the first thing the club did was put the pen to a new general manager. Saqib Dadabhoy is the new GM, but is well-known to Jerusalem fans across the land as he pledged his loyalty for a 4th season as a player and now as a manager. Saqib brought with him Jerusalem’s present legend, Shaheen Limbada and his trusty left foot to escort him to another shot at glory. Without Omar Sheikh and previous GM Zahid Merchant this season, we thought the squad rating would suffer, but management did well to sign the right players in key positions. The first name on the paper was star defender Atif Mian, who was influential in their previous championship run and we can be sure to see him on defensive duties again. Joining him on the game sheet are the recognized Hassan Chaudhary and Numair Bari who add a sense of solidity and grit to the midfield. The talking point of every squad are always the players making debuts and goalkeeper Basil Jeelany is a prime example. All we know is Basil can play but will he be able to keep up with the fierce and highly competitive nature of the best league in the world, BISL. Jibran Waqar is another one of those guys and although he can’t hit any homeruns and throw touchdowns on the soccer pitch, his athleticism can serve as a huge asset to management’s disposal. Raza Ali fits into the midfield and Arshad Chaudhry into the defense along with utility man Hassan Zubair who will play multiple positions. Can this new Jerusalem hold on to their throne?

Hejaz FC
Hejaz FC had huge decisions to make as the new season brought forth new rules. The league was interested to see what would become of Muhammed Shah and the Akram brothers as this year GM Ibrahim Sardar could only keep one. He chose to keep Fawad Akram. Hejaz have created a winning reputation and pedigree since their inception and Shah was closely linked to what they have achieved. There is a slight uncertainty in the air but Fawad is more than capable to take any team to glory. The Hejaz faithful A K returns to the club to solidify a core in the club. Management has brought in a lot of new talent in Omar El-Askalany, Ahmar Maqsood, Waleed Alvi, and Owais Khan but it remains the be seen how good they can be under the lights at BISL. Regardless of how good they are, it will take some time for the team to build chemistry and gel under a rebuilt squad. First rounder Omar El-Askalany has done enough to prove he will be a top forward in the league this year especially playing alongside Fawad Akram. It remains to be seen who the key defensive pairing will be in front of goalkeeper Sardar. The white knights picked up secret weapon Usman Aslam who is known for his finishing and unethical habits of bribing players with kababs. Last but not least, Mohsin Zubair will play the all-important utility player to support the offense and help keep the ball out of their half. Hejaz FC have participated in every final to date and have a high chance of doing it again this season. 

Anatolia FC vs. Samarra FC (8:45PM on Field 4)

Anatolia FC
A club known for its yellowness and preference of offense at the expense of defense. It seems like they are stuck in manager mode as they bring back 7 out of 10 players from last season. It’s safe to assume GM Zain Khilji has opted to preserve the same tactics as last year with a slight adjustment in personnel. The huge acquisition of Nasir Rehman is the pivotal point between this year’s squad and all before it. Anatolia shocked those at the draft with their first overall pick for Nasir as management must have envisioned a vital role for him to take on after seeing him play at the new players’ pick-up game. Mohammed Mahmood is the other notable addition and will most likely play an important part in the heart of the Anatolian midfield. Some say he was born to play here as he complements star forwards Nehad Shihab and Zain with a similar playing style, height, and shot from distance. Nirvaan Latif was the last replacement bringing his strength and leadership to the side and believe us when we say Zain caused quite the commotion at the draft to sign the veteran rookie. Is Nirvaan the next golden boot winner in disguise? Back on defense will be Taher Mirza and Salman Ahmed who had notable performances in front of goalkeeper Umair Sheikh who surprised the league with record breaking numbers. Rounding off the squad are Hasan Afzal and Riaz Murad who secretly provide so much value to the core of the team. Are they contenders? They are every year, but always fall short in the end. This year could be different.  

Samarra FC
Samarra FC missed the playoffs last year by goals differential, but have come back hungrier and stronger to make sure it doesn’t happen again. GM Umer Jabbar brings back the same great chemistry he created last season, but it seems he’s bettered the formula. The heart and soul of Samarra is back as the duo of Khizer Shahzad and Danish Khan is about to get better as both player ratings have gone up after the pre-season. Samarra’s next trick was Syed Murtaza Tirmizi who is a natural striker with a knack of finishing as he demonstrated a great performance at the new players' pick up session. These three players will be the focal source of offense supported by the workhorse engine of Zeem Khan. Although their offense looks very promising, there are a few concerns in the back half, especially in goal. Goalkeeper Zahid Merchant will miss the season with a hand injury as he underwent surgery to repair a tendon which leaves Samarra vulnerable between the pipes. Hamza Waheed was spotted in goal by one of our spies during a practice and it makes us wonder who Umer will pick up in replacement of Zahid. The defense also has its troubles as Umer who has been working hard in the off season will be missing some games for out-of-country personal time. Maaz Mohiuddin will be the man in charge at the back alongside Ali Wadee and Umair Ashraf until Umer returns to shake up positions. We speculate the team to be in good shape as they take on an Anatolian team who play similar to their style in a match where we will see a flurry of goals.

Sham FC vs. Andalusia FC (9:45PM on Field 3)

Sham FC 
Sham FC have made drastic changes to club after a couple disappointing seasons as the owners shifted their ambitions from remaining in the great BISL to winning it. Who better to sign as manager than the league great Muhammed Shah. He took his team to every final, won two championships, won the golden boot, and ultimately won the hearts of soccer fans across the globe. The only thing left for him to do is bring a team from the brinks of relegation…to glory. His first transaction was to bring his former teammate Junaid Akram to his club to replicate the records they set back at Hejaz. Then he proceeded to piece together a contender of a team by taking dribblers Kamil Lotia and Ahmed Alvi to play the wings. After just 3 rounds in, we saw a massive bandwagon rise to create a global phenomenon and all of a sudden Sham FC are looking the sign the biggest tv deal the league has ever seen. With their first overall pick, management strategically drafted Hassan Chaudhry to obtain the loyalty of his brother Omer Chaudhry who will make his debut in goal this weekend. We have yet to see if Omer has what it takes to be on this Sham team and same goes for Adeel Dosani. We don’t even know where Adeel will play but he will be looking to bring back his Grammar School days. There are a couple unknowns in the squads, but if Sham can iron out all sides of the cloth, they will be tough to beat. To lay the foundation, Asif ibn Rehana and Hashim Ghazi, who are no strangers to Shah streaked Hejaz, will partner up with Hassan to create the wall in front of goal. Syed G Hussain is dropped due to a knee injury and is replaced by another unknown, Erdinc Simsek. We were all here to witness the rise of Sham FC.  

Andalusia FC
Andalusia FC made huge strides to close the gap between them and the top teams last year and this season they look even better. GM Junaid Mirza has prospered in formulating powerful allegiances which has given rise to his club and following. The Spaniards, to the surprise of their opponents, brought back former golden boot winner Humeid Masood along with his companion Altamash Khan. As dangerous of a name as Altamash sounds, he even more dangerous on the pitch in full stride. Unfortunately, Hejaz stole the third musketeer Omar El-Askalany, and Junaid is still in negotiations to obtain rights to play alongside him. League officials are investigating if these negotiations include goal letting especially since the GM is also the starting goalkeeper. Junaid did manage to sign the quality of Taqi Ahmed and Shahrayar Khan to assemble a dense core in the squad and challenge the league at its heights. There are still question marks on what role each player in the squad will play, but we know for sure Sheraz Chaudhry will be the anchor on the ship and joining him on defense will probably be the agile Omar Shakil. Muzammil Murad comes into the league with nothing on him except for the fact that he is Riaz’s brother and management will be hoping he brings the same kind of energy his sibling brings. Depth is so important in any squad and Andalusia have that covered with Fahim Karamat and Furhan Azmat, both of whom are great attacking options and bring speed to the team. With so many newly acquired players, it will take some time for management to get the best out of its squad, but when they do, they will make some noise.  

Season starts in only a few days. Let's Kick-off!