Calcutta: Having finally reached the premier division of the National Football League Mohammedan Sporting are thinking big. They are lining up their dreams and preparing for the long haul ahead, of the local Super Division League and the new NFL season.
Prime among this is the modest acquisition spree that the club is planning. Topmost on their acquisition list are players from Churchill Brothers and Mahindra United. Yusif Yakubu is one player that Mohammedan Sporting is looking at and having talks with, confirmed club secretary Sultan Ahmed. “These players, now that the National League is over, will be settling their dues with their respective clubs, and then the scenario will be clear,” said Ahmed.
The big accolade, waiting from the club, from the players and from the officials, is for coach Mohammed Habeeb. He has seen the club through many a rough patch, through several frustrations to finally finish runners-up in the local league. That was a great achievement in itself. Now he has also steered the clubs, with its meagre resources and limited star-power to the National League.
Ahmed said that for these achievements, the club has decided to retain the services of Habeeb for the coming season. Nasir Ahmed has been named his assistant coach.
Mohammedan Sporting’s star players like Dipendu Biswas and Syed Rahim Nabi have come out with great words for their coach.
Ahmed also said that the club wishes to “offer Bhaichung Bhutia a chance to play on in Calcutta and with Mohammedan Sporting.”
“Bhaichung is a city boy, he needs to play here and when we had had a talk with him earlier he had said he could consider the offer if Mohammedan Sporting reach the National League proper.
However, he will have to play as per our dictates. Our funds are limited and our system is a little different. He will have to abide by all that,” said Ahmed.
Bhaichung is trying to get into Singapore for a sting there. He has said that he will reconsider local offers if that offer falls through.
Meanwhile, Jamshed Nassiri, the once high-profile player of the Maidan and the club — he played from 1982 to 85, then from 1986 to 92 and again, as player-cum-coach in 1995 — has given his best wishes on the club’s elevation to the NFL premier division.