Former Atletico de Kolkata goalkeeper Apoula Edel Bete, who moved to Chennaiyin FC this summer, has said there was 'something different' at Chennai that inspired him to make a move to the south Indian ISL outfit.
The former Paris Saint-Germain custodian said it while recalling the game Atletico played against the Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai last season.
"Last year when I played against Chennaiyin FC, I could get a feeling that there is something different about the environment at Chennaiyin compared to Kolkata," Edel was quoted by Goal as saying.
"Also Bernard [Mendy] told me nice things about Chennaiyin FC and so when the offer came from Chennaiyin this time, I didn't have to think much and accepted it," he explained.
The Cameroon-born Armenian goalkeeper was one of the key players for the Indian Super League (ISL) in the final stages of the tournament last year. He appeared in as many as nine games for ATK in the last season and clinched four clean sheets, including one in the final match against the Kerala Blasters at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
The 29-year-old is revered for his 83rd-minute save in the game to deny the Blasters an advantage in the game, which Atletico won 1-0 courtesy, a last-minute goal by Mohammed Rafique. Edel's contribution to the goal was also highly praised.
Chennaiyin FC was one of the most decorated teams last season as it finished at the top in the regular league season, but their progress in the tournament halted after they suffered an aggregate 3-4 defeat against the Kerala Blasters in the semi-finals last year.
Elano and Luis Garcia got on the scoresheet for the Chennai side and the Kolkata side, respectively, to record a 1-1 draw in the game played in Chennai.
Both teams face-off once again in the opening encounter of ISL 2.0 at the same stadium this year on 3 October.
Meanwhile, the presence of Indian custodians Karanjit Singh and Nidhin Lal also implies that Edel has to fight for his place in the starting line-up. But that doesn't concern the Armenian much as long as the team is winning.
"There is a very good atmosphere in the squad and good understanding among the goalkeepers at Chennaiyin FC. I have a very good understanding with not only Karanjit but Nidhinlal also," Edel said. "We push each other very hard in training and it is always great to have competition. It is not important who plays as long as the team wins," he said.