Calcutta: East Bengal coach Armando Colaco said he is trying to get the right mix of experience and youth.
“I am trying to get the right mix. It will not happen overnight… Will have to work hard to achieve that,” Colaco said after Friday’s practice session at the Salt Lake Stadium.
East Bengal face Mohammedan Sporting in the CFL Championship Round lung-opener at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday and the coach is mulling over blooding a few youngsters like Deepak Tirkey and Jiten Murmu.
“Yes, I am thinking on those lines. We have some very experienced players like Mehtab (Hussain), Saumik (Dey) and Arnab (Mondal). If I persist with only seniors, when will the juniors get chance then?
“I have some very exciting talents at my disposal. So, I will definitely give them a chance” he made it clear.
Colaco said he is yet to decide whether Ranty Martins would get a start on Sunday. But going by Friday’s practice session, Ranty is very much in the scheme of things. Mohammded Rafique and Jiren should be the other frontliners in the 4-3-3 formation.
Colaco refused to believe that the defending champions are firm favourites on Sunday. “Look, it’s a first match for both of us. So, in a way, both East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting are on even keel.
“We still are a bit rusty in certain areas. But as the season progresses, we will gain in confidence. I will ask the fans not to jump into conclusion if the result on Sunday does not go our way. A loss or a draw will not be end of the world.”
Colaco is likely to give a start to goalkeeper Abhra Mondal on Sunday. Abhra, who was blessed with a daughter on Thursday, is looking forward to the Sunday clash.
“If I get a start, I will give my best. Right now, I am over the moon. And if I get a chance to play and my team wins, then it will be excellent,” he said.
The coach had already announced his decision to play only juniors at the CFL. And that means he may not field any of the foreign recruits in the opener.
"If you don't give youngsters a chance to play at the CFL, where would you play them then? Giving youngsters more chances is the only way to develop Indian football," he said.