Friday, January 13, 2017

Bengaluru set to host the first South Indian derby of the season

AIFF Media 
Bengaluru FC Media 

In a battle between clubs from the southern India, defending champion Bengaluru FC (BFC) take on the newbie Chennai City FC (CCFC) in the second round of Hero I-League at Shree Kanterava Stadium, Bengaluru tomorrow. 

Not many times the city witnessed a South Indian derby. Last time it was played was in 2011-12 season, between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Chirag United Club Kerala. Last time a match between clubs from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu was played in 2002-03, the seventh edition of erstwhile National Football League. In that season, Chennai had Indian Bank and Bengaluru had Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Indian Telephone Industries (ITI). In a 12-team league, Indian Bank survived relegation while HAL and ITI finished 11th and 12th respectively and were relegated in the next season. 

After a convincing win in the starting of the new season, Coach Albert Roca was upbeat, “We are at a stage to build up something, have to be consistent, and try to make things that we are prepared for. Our intention is to keep the team spirit that we have shown to our supporters in the first game.”

BFC have bolstered defense department by adding National player, Sandesh Jinghan, “Sandesh is a good player, he can help us to be stronger, but we have to give him time to settle down mentally, we can’t pressurize him for tomorrow’s game. I know I’m counting on him and I am sure he’ll be important for us in the future. 

Former Barcelona assistant coach looked content with the existing squad. “We have enough good players, I don’t expect any other players joining us. I am happy, we have a good balance in all departments. This is the squad I like!” 

Roca sounded cautious about his opponent, “CCFC got a good squad with most of the players having experience in playing I-League, they will also be hoping to score and put us in trouble. I am expecting tomorrow’s game to more difficult than the last one”, adds the Spaniard. 

He is not in favor of making too many changes, he concludes, “Our first game was good, I don’t want to make too much changes, but the other players must be ready to get in as we are playing the next two matches within a week. 

Coached by Robin Charles Raja, Chennai City bolstered their lineup by adding players having experience in I-League - Karanjit Singh, Debabrata Roy, and Denson Devadas, foreigners Haroon Amiri and Echezona, and local boys Dharmaraj Ravanan and Dhanpal Ganesh. 

Charles is hopeful for tomorrow’s match, “We have started on a positive note, our first game was a draw, and we surely want to do well in the other matches.”  

With not enough preseason and late signings, they have task cut out. 

CCFC must be seeking inspiration from the other big club from South,”BFC maybe a different club but they too are from the same zone. Heard a lot about BFC. We are looking BFC as a role model, we’re learning, and hopefully we’ll catch up with them in coming days.”

Raja further adds, “We’ll give a tough time to BFC tomorrow, and we’ll do well as a team!”