Calcutta: Tollygunge Agragami may not have the most illustrious names on their ranks, but their reputation as giant-killers have last year’s National Football League runners-up Churchill Brothers wary.
Talking to The Telegraph on the eve of their match against Tollygunge, Churchill Brothers coach Marcus Pechoka said, “They have a very nippy forwardline consisting of Ashim Biswas and Akeem. Moreover, they have often done very well against the bigger teams. So, we have to be extra cautious.”
Also, the fact that it is their away match is keeping the Churchill team on their toes. “It’s their home-turf, it will not be easy for us,” the coach added.
Recounting his team’s performance this season, Pechoka said: “We finished a lowly six in the local league. But at that time, we didn’t have all the foreigners together.” He also felt that Yakubu, top-scorer in last season’s NFL, didn’t get enough support earlier. “But now, with Kasif Jamal (taken on lien from Central Railways) there, he will get the support upfront,” Pechoka opined.
On the other hand, Tollygunge are also quite aware of Churchill’s ‘big team’ tag and know they have to play a tactical game. “We’ll see how the game goes and take it from there,” Tollygunge coach Aloke Mukherjee said.
The local outfit, however, will be a bit rusty as they will be taking the field after 20 days. That was when they beat Mahindra United at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Meanwhile, Tollygunge’s Nigerian recruit, Moses, who will take the field on Monday has given some respite to Mukherjee. “He takes a lot of work-load and that gives me a lot more options,” the coach said.
Churchill Brothers: Edward Ansah; Rajesh Meetei, Osumanu Husseni, Mahesh Gawli, Denzil Ferraro; Noel Wilson, Roque Barreto, Ratan Singh, K. Singh; Kasif Jamal, Yusif Yakubu
Tollygunge Agragami: Arindam Ghosh; Dipayan Majumdar, Amitava Chanda, Isiaka Awoyemi, Debkumar Sashmol; Moses Owira, Sandip Das, Mehtab Hossain, Srikanta Dutta /Sujoy Dutta, Ashim Biswas, Akeem Abolanle.
Dempo Sports Club, Goa and Mahindra United played out a goalless draw at the Nehru Stadium Sunday, adds PTI from Margao.