Mohammedan Sporting Club aim for a successful start to their Calcutta Football League – Premier Division ‘A’ campaign when they take on newcomers Pathachakra today, August 13 afternoon at the Kalyani Stadium.
Mohammedan Sporting, who had finished second in last seasons CFL and won the Sikkim Governor’s Gold Cup, but once again missed promotion from the Second Division League, have had six weeks of pre-season under new coach Biswajit Bhattacharya,
But their opponents Pathachakra aren’t a usual newcomer as the sister club of United SC with them playing in the higher division this season, Pathachakra have signed a number of known faces on the Kolkata Maidans.
“The first match is always very difficult, and it is always very important to start any tournament with a victory, as it will set the tone for the entire campaign,” coach Biswajit Bhattacharya said yesterday on the eve of the clash.
“We are young a side. A lot of players will be playing in Kolkata for the very first time. The training camp has helped the boys to shape themselves mentally and physically,” Biswajit added speaking about the 11 day camp in Kalyani.
Speaking about the opponents coach Biswajit Bhattacharya said, “Pathachkra is one of the toughest teams in the league. They have a well-balanced side and it always gets difficult when you are stacked up against a set of proven players. But I am confident if the boys stay focused and do not get pressurized, things could work in our favour.”
Having defeated Pathachakra in a pre-season game courtesy a Manandeep Singh strike, the Black Panthers enjoy a psychological advantage over them.
However, this time around Mohammedan Sporting will have to do it without the services of Nigerian midfield maestro Kalu Ogba and striker Manvir Singh.
While Kalu is unavailable for the first match owing to registration issues which occurred due to his late arrival, Manvir has received a call up to the Indian national camp at Mumbai and likely to miss quite a few games.
The match at Kalyani Stadium kicks off at 3pm today and it will be live on Kolkata TV.