Diogo Ferriera

I-League 2017: Mohun Bagan name squad without two key foreigners for opener against Minerva

[caption id="attachment_58595" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Mohun Bagan footballers in the training session | Image: XtraTime Mohun Bagan footballers in the training session | Image: XtraTime[/caption]

Kolkata: Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan has left out foreigners Diogo Ferreira and Yuta Kinowaki for its opening I League encounter against Minerva Punjab FC. Both the footballers are yet to recover from injuries. Japanese midfielder Yuta Kinowaki sustained a groin injury few days back while Diogo Ferreira has back spasms.

“We are taking the fittest 18 footballers to Punjab. Diego’s (Ferreira) fitness is not up to the mark. Day before yesterday he complained of some back spasms. He is still not 100 percent fit,” said Sanjay Sen talking to reporters at the club tent.

Minerva Punjab FC gave some tough times to the Mariners at home. Talking about their first opponent, Bagan coach Sanjay Sen said, “The first match is always a difficult one. Last year the ground we played in Punjab was not up to the mark. Minerva is an unknown opponent to me as they have made drastic changes to their squad starting with the coach. Our aim will be to get the full points as that will ease the pressure for the next matches.”

The Kolkata giants will next meet arch rivals East Bengal in the second match. The gaffer is not thinking too much ahead of the derby.

“We are not thinking ahead of the derby. We are only focussing on the Minerva clash,” said Sanjay Sen

Mohun Bagan captain Sony Norde will have an added responsibility like the last few seasons. The Haitian will be playing from the start of I League as he did in his debut season with the Mariners.

“I have been taking responsibility from the last three seasons. If all players can give their 100 percent on the field, our team will be much better. As a captain I have to motivate the team particularly the youngsters,” said Norde before leaving the club tent.

A lot will depend on Bagan midfielder Kromah who will be making his I League debut for Green and Maroon brigade. According to Kromah, “The first game is very important and if we can win it the pressure will be less. I believe in my team and hopefully we can come out flying colours. If we win the first match it will motivate us for the derby.”

Minerva Punjab FC has made drastic changes to the squad from last season. Juan Lewis Perez Herreira has replaced Surinder Singh as the head coach. The side from Punjab has signed six foreigners including Chenco Gyentshen who was the top scorer in Bhutan.

Mohun Bagan will leave for Punjab tomorrow morning.

Squad: Sony Norde (C), Soram Porei (GK), Shilton Paul (GK), Bikramjit Singh, Gurjinder Kumar, Ricky Lallawmawma, Kingshuk Debnath, Arijit Bagui, Rana Gharami, Sk. Faiaz, Chesterpaul Lyngdoh, Naro Hari Shrestha, Ansumana Kromah, Sourav Das, Dipanda Dicka, Shilton D’Silva, Raynier Fernandes

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