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Kingfisher East Bengal - Team Preview

AsthestageisallsetforanewfootballseasoninIndia,inthisseries,Footballage.comtakes alookateachoftheclubscompetingforhonoursinthe201112editionoftheILeague,as welookintotheirstrengthsandweaknessesanddecipherwhattoexpectfromeachof themthisseason.WillitbeanotherGoansuccessatthetopofthetable?Whowillbethe surprisepackageoftheseason?Whichallclubswillbefightingtherelegationbattlethis time?Wehavetheanswers!Allittakesistoreadon... Introduction Aseachseasonkicksoff,KingfisherEastBengalisoneteamthatisalwaystippedtowin onemajortrophyortheother.But,aftertheinceptionoftheILeaguein2007,theclubhas hadnotmuchtoboastofinthetopdivision.ThiswasuntilJamesTrevorMorgantook chargeandturnedthetidefortheKolkataclub,muchtothedelightoftheirlargefanbase. Afterbeingatthetopofthetableformostoflastseason,itwasonlyforalateresurgent runfromSalgaocarSCthattookawaytheleaguetitlefromthem.Theyendedrunnersupin theleague,butbaggedtheKolkataFootballLeaguecrownandtheFederationCup2010 defeatingbittercityrivalsMcDowell'sMohunBaganAC. TheCoachingStaff MorganwillbeguidingtheteamforasecondtermandtheformerDevelopmentCoachof HullCityFCwillbehopingtobringbacktheILeaguecrowntoEastBengal'strophy cabinetafteragapof8years.AbettershowintheAFCCupwillalsobeinhisobjective. MorganwillbeassistedbyformerTataFootballAcademy(TFA)coachRanjanChowdhury andgoalkeepercoachAtanuBhattacharya.RanjanChowdhuryjoinstheclubafterhavinga shortstintasthePuneFCAcademyCoach,whileAtanu,aformerIndianInternationaland EastBengalplayer,hasbeenaidingtheteamsince2009. IncomingsandOutgoings EastBengalsawthedeparturesofIndianInternationalsMehrajuddinWadooandSushil KumarSingh,toSalgaocarSCandUnitedSikkimFCrespectively,duringthesummer.But theirbiggestsetbackwaslossingofthehighlyversatileSyedRahimNabitoMohunBagan, whileWadooandSushildidnotfeatureintheircoach'splansandhadaverylessimpacton theteamlastseason. TheclubdidgoodbusinessinthemarketandtheacquisitionofRobertLalthlamuanafrom ChurchillBorthersSChasbeenthepickofsummertransferstotheKolkataclub.Roberthas beenakeyperformerfortheGoansinthepreviousseasonandwillfillthevoidleftbyNabi inthemidfield.SunilKumarfromPuneFCandCharanRaifromChurhcillaresomeofthe othergoodbuysbytheclubinthewindow.Theteamwillalsobeboostedbythereturnof playerslikeRajuEknathGaekwad,AbhishekDasandOngnamMilanSinghfromIndian Arrowsandwillinjectyoungbloodintothesquad. TheSquad

Notmuchchangeshavehappenedtothesquadthatlookedlikeachampionteamlast season.So,thefanswillbedemandingforabetterseasonfromtheirclubthanthe successful201011one.TrevorMorganhasasquadwhichhasgotstrengthanddepthinhis disposal,anditwillbeinterestingtoseehowhewillhandleateamfilledwithahandfulof promisingyoungstersaswellasexperiencedstalwarts. TheyhaveaverytrustedhandsunderthegoalpostinformerIndianInternationalSandip Nandy.Healongwiththedefendershasbeenthemostconsistentunitoftheteam,keeping 11cleansheetsintheILeague201011.NigeriandefenderUgaOkparaandThokchom NaobaSingharepillarsinthedefence,whileRajuGaekwad,NirmalChhetri,Gurwinder SinghandRavinderSinghalsoprovideoptionsforMorgan. MehtabHussainwillbethecenterofattractioninthemidfieldafterbeingtheteam'sstar performerinthelastcapaign.Theplaymakeristhespineoftheteamandthefactthatin hisabsence,EastBengalhasnevermanagedtowinagamelastseason,showshowmuch heistotheteam.PennOrjiwillbedeployedinamoreattackingroleaheadofMehtab, whilefreshlyacquiredRobertLalthualmanaandSushanthMathewwillbeexpectedtobe seenpacingdownthewings.TheteamalsoannouncedthesigningofScottishmidfielder AlanGow,providinganabundanceoftalentinthearea. Thestrikingdepartmentiswheretheclubfindsitselfinalittletrouble.Yes,youmighthave 20goalsaseasoninthetallAustralianTolgayOzbey,butwhatifhegetstomissagame? BaljitSinghSahniandRobinSinghareotheroptionsforEastBengalalongwithBengal's SantoshTrophyheroBrancoVincentCardozamakingamovefromPrayagUnitedSC. Onthewhole,EastBengalisagroupofplayersthatholdsastrongchallengeinthenew seasonandiftheycouldemulatethedreamrunofresultstheyhadformostoflastseason, theleaguetitlewouldbetheir'stolose. TeamList Goalkeepers:SandipNandy,GurpreetSinghSandhu,AbhraMondal,DebjitMajumdar, JayantaPal Defenders:ThokchomNaobaSingh,AbhishekDas,SaikatSahaRoy,NirmalChhetri,Uga Okpara,GurwinderSingh,RajuEknathGaikwad,RobertLalthlamuana,SoumikDey, RavinderSingh,SunilKumarThakur Midfielders:SunilKumar,SanjuPradhan,ReisangmiVashum,CharanRai,HarmanjotSingh Khabra,MehtabHussain,SushanthMathew,SubodhKumar,OngnamMilanSingh,Penn IkechukwuOrji,AlvitoD'Cunha,KhanthangPaite,BeingaichhoBeokhokhai,AlanGow Forwards:TolgayOzbey,BaljitSinghSahni,BrancoVincentCardozo,RobinSingh, BudhiramTudu,BiswarupDeb Officials:TrevorJamesMorgan(HeadCoach),RanjanChowdhury(AssistantCoach), AtanuBhattacharya(GoalKeeperCoach),KaziJuyefIslam(PhysicalTrainer),SwapanBall (TeamManager)

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