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Tolgay steals the show
- East Bengal introduce players with much fanfare
Tolgay Ozebe with a model, at the CC&FC, on Monday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: Rivals beware! East Bengal striker Tolgay Ozebe promises to net more goals than he scored last season. “I have become more lethal. Mark my words…” the Australian said during the introduction of the players at the CC&FC, on Monday.

The gala function had a liberal doze of glamour too but it was the dapper Australian, who was the cynosure of all eyes.

No sooner the eemcee announced the name “Tolgay Ozebeeeee”, there was a staccato of whistles and deafening applauses all around.

And as he walked onto the stage with a model, the man seemed to be enjoying every bit of the attention.

“I took my time to adjust. But once I got into the groove, there was no stopping me. Now, I know the Indian style of football. So, this season, people can expect more goals from me,” said Tolgay.

The Australian is without doubt the best signing by East Bengal in recent years and is extremely popular with the fans. Why not? After all he scored 38 goals in his 27 appearances and played a stellar role in the red and gold brigade’s success last season.

According to Tolgay he owed his goals to his teammates. “I have a brilliant understanding with the teammates. The goals I scored was all because of my colleagues,” the striker said. East Bengal, for the record, retained most of the players. And Tolgay feels this is a huge plus for the team.

“This is a positive sign for us. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This is one of the vital aspects in building a team,” he said.

The new faces who will don the East Bengal colours are Branco Cardozo (Chirag United) and Khangtang Paite (Churchill Brothers) while Raju Gaikwad, Gurpreet Singh and Abhishek Das will return from Indian Arrows.

East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan sounded happy with the side. “I have total faith in my team… I hope the new recruits will get accustomed quickly,” the British coach said.

Meanwhile, Morgan will get a new assistant in Alvito D’Cunha. The club’s ambassador Alvito, who was bogged down by injuries for the last couple of seasons, will also play if the situation demands.

“I am very happy to work under Morgan. He is a great motivator and a tactician. We owe much of our success to him,” the Goan said.

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Sandip Nandi, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Abhra Mondal (captain), Jayanta Pal, Debjit Majumdar

Defenders: Ravinder Singh, Saumik Dey, Robert Lalthlamuana, Uga Okpara, Gurwinder Singh, Nirmal Chetri, Sunil Kumar Thakur, Raju Gaikwad, Sunil Kumar, Naoba Singh, Abhishek Das, Saikat Saha Roy

Midfielders: Alvito D’Cunha, B Beokhokhei, Khangtang Paite, Milan Singh, Mehtab Hossain, Penn Orji, R Vashum, Charan Rai, Subodh Kumar, Sushant Matthew, Sanju Pradhan, Harmanjyot Singh Khabra

Forwards: Tolgay Ozebe, Robin Singh, Branco Cardozo, Baljit Sahni, Biswarup Deb, Budiram Tudu.

Coach: Trevor James Morgan

Assistant coaches: Ranjan Chowdhury and Alvito D’Cunha

Goalkeeping coach: Atanu Bhattacharya.

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