Calcutta: Ranty Martins has been on the wish-lists of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan on numerous occasions. Yet, somehow, the Nigerian has always evaded the approaches of the city’s Big Two.
But that fact no longer holds as the striker has signed up with East Bengal for the next two seasons. Ranty, officially, stepped into the club for the first time on Wednesday. And minutes later, at a media conference, he was asked what made him sign for East Bengal? And why not Bagan?
“There are many reasons… But the most important thing is that East Bengal contacted me at the right time. It is also the right time for me. I have seen so many things, learnt so many things… So I think it is the right time for me to play for East Bengal,” Ranty, who has some knowledge about the soccer scenario in the city having represented United SC in the last two seasons, answered.
“It’s a new journey for me… I am really privileged to play for East Bengal. We have been in touch for quite some time. This time everything fell into place… So here I am,” he added.
East Bengal has a large fan base, something which Ranty’s previous two clubs in India — Dempo SC and United SC — lacked. Will he then be under more pressure?
“I don’t call it pressure, I call it responsibility. Everyone in the club has that responsibility. We will have to work together. Personally, I will have to prove myself, that is my duty.
“East Bengal have a lot of quality players. If we work together, as a family, we will be successful. Working together is the key,” he said.
The foreign recruits usually have to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility for the club’s success. Ranty said he is ready.
“I am a professional… I know what I have to do to take care of myself, to make sure that I’m always ready for my team.”
It’s still uncertain whether Edeh Chidi will be Ranty’s partner upfront. The Nigerian was diplomatic while speaking on his compatriot.
“I have played with Chidi when I was in Dempo… We have played well together. But the club and the coach will take the decisions. We have to wait and see for the future.”
Meanwhile, a top club official revealed that an offer has been made to Armando Colaco to remain the coach for the upcoming season. The club is expecting a reply within a week.
He also said that the club would be stricter with players to curb indiscipline and that the team budget for the season may be curtailed as around Rs 4 crore would have to be spent to meet AFC’s licensing criteria.