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Regular-article-logo Monday, 15 April 2024

Prize of hard work: Kromah

CFL crown belongs to Peerless SC

Sayak Banerjee Calcutta Published 03.10.19, 08:35 PM
Ansumana Kromah

Ansumana Kromah The Telegraph picture

Captain Ansumana Kromah and coach Jahar Das feel their team were peerless right through the competition. And thanks to their “fearless football”, the CFL crown justifiably belongs to Peerless SC although they will be officially declared champions later.

After 1958, no other club has been able to topple East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting to clinch the CFL title. But after 61 years, Peerless were able to do something that looked quite impossible.

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On Thursday, East Bengal didn’t turn up for their final game of this CFL against Calcutta Customs in Kalyani. As a result, three points were awarded to Customs, which meant East Bengal finished on 20 points while Peerless (on 23 points) will be declared champions after the league sub-committee meeting of the IFA.

“It’s all because of our hard work and ambition to be the champions. We were fearless,” Kromah, highest scorer in this edition with 13 goals, told The Telegraph.

For sure, it was Kromah who did the bulk of the scoring. But he didn’t forget to acknowledge the efforts of the likes of winger Dipendu Dowary and striker Jiten Murmu, who were both crucial in taking Peerless to the summit.

“We are one family at Peerless. Yes, I did score many goals, but these guys worked hard and gave me good passes to score. It wasn’t about individual brilliance, it was about collective effort...,” Kromah emphasised.

Coach Das too echoed Kromah’s view. “Of course, their performance was equally significant. Without these local players, we may not have been in the championship race at all. Without team effort, nothing is possible.

“Our local players carried out their responsibilities to perfection. Without their support, Kromah would never have been able to score so many goals,” Das said.

For the Peerless coach, the victory over Bhowanipore Club gave his team the belief that they could win the title. “We felt that game would be the hardest for us. So, after beating Bhowanipore, we felt our dream of winning the League could materialise,” Das said.

Murmu and Dowary also thanked coach Das and the club for their trust on them instead of looking for outstation footballers.

“Jahar sir is a gentleman. I had practised under him at the Mohun Bagan academy in Durgapur and also since I was only eight-nine years old. Another good thing about him is he never uses expletives during practice. He only encourages us,” Dowary said.“Other clubs don’t care much about local players. They instead look for more players from the northeast. But Peerless had faith in us and helped us prove that we are also quite capable.

“This club has more respect for and trust on local players,” said Jiten, who now has offers from some I-League clubs.

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