East Bengal faces constraints on practice time before ISL

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Published on November 12, 2020 by

The newly formed board of East Bengal and Shree Cement is racing against time to build a strong team on time in order to provide enough time for the players to practice.

Sayantan Chandra, 12.11.2020

Kolkata: The board formed after Shree Cement bought a majority stake in East Bengal is yet to hire a coach and the foreign players. With a compulsory quarantine of 15 days mandatory for all the members of the squad, the time that the coach will get with the full squad before the start of the  Indian Super League(ISL)  will be less than 15 days.

According to a member of the East Bengal Executive Board who wanted to remain unidentified, the club has handed over the responsibility to the investors to build the team. “I know we will get less time  than what one ideally gets to practice but all the players are professionals and should not be a big problem, said Birendra Saha, another executive body member of the club. The situation started looking grim after a rift between the club and the investor broke in which caused further delay. H.M Bangur, the managing director of Shree Cements  in an interview to XtratimeBangla  said that the board could not concentrate on the coach and the players until the entry to the ISL was sealed. “We will form a team within three to four days and will appoint the coach and leave the foreigners on the coach to decide.” 

This is after arch rivals Mohun Bagan joined the ISL after merging with ATKFC and pressure started mounting on the East Bengal officials to secure an entry in the centenary year. The rivalry of the two clubs meant that East Bengal, who are celebrating their centenary year, tried their best to get a sponsor on board. But with time running out to pick up bid papers, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee helped the club to get Shree Cement as their major investor.

“Building team chemistry will be difficult and East Bengal will be lagging behind the other teams. The practice matches will be very crucial. The coach must instill a fighting spirit in the players to work harder,” said Purnendu Sakar, an experienced player who has been coaching the Police athletic Club for the last 25 years.

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