The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘We’ll aim to win all tournaments’
- Subrata to ask Tolly for goalkeeping coach

Calcutta: When he was coach of Mohun Bagan, nothing short of the champions’ crown pleased the maverick Subrata Bhattacharya. The motto hasn’t changed even after he has taken charge of DTDC Tollygunge Agragami.

“Those in charge of Tollygunge earlier (read: Aloke Mukherjee) aimed to avoid relegation. But I’m made of a different mettle,” Bhattacharya announced at a press conference Tuesday where he was officially presented as coach of Tollygunge Agragami.

Aloke was in charge of Tollygunge Agragami for a season and a half.

Subrata made it clear Tollygunge will aim to win all the tournaments they take part in. That starts from the one-day tournament organised by IFA in June to the National Football League.

“There’s a general notion that Tollygunge always play with nine men in defence. I’ll look to change that mindset,” Subrata added.

“We will play an attacking brand of football which has never before been tried out in this club,” Subrata.

Assessing the team, he said: “I have been with the boys for about a week. There are some quality players, but I will have to work on a few aspects.” Subrata, however, didn’t specify the “softer areas”.

He will ask for a goalkeeping coach. “That is something I’ve discussed with the officials. Let’s see how things shape up,” he said.

Subrata, who guided Mohun Bagan to two NFL titles, expressed his gratitude to the Tollygunge Agragami officials for placing faith in him.

“I’ve been through difficult times over the past 30 years. But just when I was losing interest, they have called me back. I’m sure they will not throw me out saying I’ve been engaged in anti-football activities.”

Mohun Bagan handed the pink-slip to him alleging he had committed “anti-football activities” which hampered the spirit of the team.

The former India captain felt that coaching a team like Tollygunge Agragami after handling a high-profile outfit like Mohun Bagan won’t be a problem. “I have coached teams like FCI and Police AC. So that doesn’t bother me.”

Tolly appeal

Tollygunge Agragami will make a formal appeal to the IFA to allow them the use of Rabindra Sarobar ground as their ‘home’ for the entire NFL season.

“We made a similar request last year, but that wasn’t granted,” Tollygunge joint secretary Montu Ghosh said. Tollygunge played all their home matches last season at Salt Lake Stadium.

Bhaichung signs up

Meanwhile, Bhaichung Bhutia Tuesday officially signed on the dotted lines, swearing his allegiance in the ensuing season for East Bengal. The star player, who took his time to make up his mid about playing in this country, joined the coaching stint of the club.

The coaching camp was overseen by East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick, along with the new trainer of the club, South African Kevin Jackson.

Bhaichung, following his stint in the afternoon, said he was fit and that he will give his best in the season. “East Bengal are a well-balanced team,” said Bhaichung and "I am sure I'll be able to prove myself in a club to which I have belonged for long."

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