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Bagan bank on local stars

Calcutta: After days of uncertainty, football in Mohun Bagan is finally set to come out of the chaos, as they prepare to take on West Bengal Police at home Saturday.

A players’ revolt over non-payment of dues almost threatened to scuttle the team’s participation in the curtain-raiser of the local season. Since the news of arrival of Brazilians Jose Ramirez Barreto and Marcos Pereira, things have started falling into place for Aloke Mukherjee’s side and the coach is now counting his blessings ahead of the Calcutta Football League Super Division opener.

“It’s a huge relief for us to hear that Barreto and Marcos will be available from next week. Players now want to forget what has happened in the past and look forward to tomorrow’s opener with a positive frame of mind,” Aloke told reporters after the morning practice Friday.

Aloke, however, pointed out that he would be banking on the “local forces” against the policemen. “Ground conditions are slushy and not good for quality football. Since the local players are more adapted to playing on such surface, I may leave out a few outstation players,” he said.

He, though, hinted at starting with Harpreet Singh and Hardeep Singh Saini. Aloke also pointed out that the team is banking a lot on “Ashim Biswas’ striking ability and Rennedy Singh’s leadership quality”.

“Ashim is in good form and he’s such a player who can turn around things anytime,” the coach commented.

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