Mohammedan Sporting have a chance to end their 40-year wait for the Calcutta Football League title when they take on Railway FC in the final of the Premier Division A at the Salt Lake Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The last time Mohammedan Sporting won the local league was in 1981. “The boys will give their best.
This is our best chance and probably the last,” football secretary Dipendu Biswas said on Wednesday.
This year SC East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan decided to skip the local league. SC East Bengal did not even begin their team building when the league started in August, thanks to the prolonged battle between the club and its investor Shree Cement.
ATK Mohun Bagan gave it a miss citing lack of depth in the squad and AFC Cup preparations. They were routed 6-0 by Uzbek side FC Nasaf in the semi-final.
Mohammedan Sporting, though, did no have any such problem and at one point in time played both the local league and Durand Cup simultaneously. They finished runners-up in the Durand Cup, losing to FC Goa.
Defender Shaher Shaheen and striker Marcus Joseph are the two foreigners who are expected to start for Mohammedan Sporting, according to Dipendu.
Coach Andrey Chernyshov did not attend the practice session on Wednesday since he was not well. “He has recovered and will be at the dug-out tomorrow (Thursday),” Dipendu informed.
There is a huge interest in the match and the club is expecting around 40000 spectators at the stadium.
Kick-off: 1.45pm (Live on R Plus)