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Monday, September 22, 2008

Mumbai FC ready to give Bagan a run for their money!

Mumbai FC coach David Booth is all geared up for the upcoming I-League and doesn’t feel that his side would start their campaign as underdogs against Mohun Bagan at Barasat Stadium on September 27.

The Bagan upfront has the likes of Baichung Bhutia, Jose Barreto and PC Lalawmpuia — a combination that can give sleepless nights to any coach. Booth, however, appears unperturbed. Rather, he is a tad apprehensive about whether his young boys would be able to produce their best in front of a packed house that would go ga-ga to see a Bagan win.

“I’m only thinking about whether the youngsters would be able to handle the pressure. It’s not easy to play in front of thousands of partisan fans. If they don’t choke, they would give Bagan a run for their money,” Booth said.

“I’m not really worried about Bagan’s strengths. They have quality players, but my job is to help the boys perform to their potential,” he added.

The British coach is not really happy with the fitness level of his players. According to him, that was the reason why the team couldn’t put up a decent performance in the Durand Cup and was eliminated in the quarterfinals. “Personally, I didn’t want to participate in the Durand Cup. Instead, my idea was to go for an intensive training programme. But we had to participate (in the Durand Cup). So, I chose a line-up comprising basically the juniors. “I’m not too unhappy with their performance, though there’s always room for improvement, especially on fitness count. We have been working to improve their fitness level,” Booth observed.

As for the I-league, the new Ghanaian recruit Abel Hammond, fresh from his stint with the Italian third division club Brescia FC, is going to be his trump card. “Given a choice between Barreto, Yakubu and Hammond, I would choose the latter,” Booth said. Hammond didn’t play in the Durand Cup. But his performance in warm-up matches, have impressed one and all. Said midfielder Noel Wilson: “I don’t want to say much at this moment. If Hammond stays fit, he will set the I-League on fire.” The Ghanaian would be paired up with Nigerian Felix upfront. The latter has also impressed his coach with his showings in the I-League qualifiers and the Durand Cup.

In Kalyan Chowbe, Noel Wilson and Sanjoy Parte team has experience. Booth wants a perfect blend of experience and youth which, according to him, would be the key to success.

It would be baptism by fire for Mumbai FC who are playing the I-League for the first time. For a newcomer, to bump into four toughest teams of the tournament in first four matches is certainly not a very welcoming prospect. Coach, however, keeps his fingers crossed. “Our first four games are against Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Mahindra United and Dempo SC. The outcome of these matches would decide our fate in the I-League,” Booth concluded.

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MOHUN BAGAN ATHLETIC CLUB-The National club of India

A Short History:

MOHUN BAGAN AC-The National club of India, the oldest Club in Asia,
was established on 15th August 1889 when India was up in arms against her collonial head, England.

Eversince its establishment the Club had been winning a lot of local leagues and cups but the moment of greatness that surpasses all came in the year 1911 when Mohun Bagan AC became the first Indian club/team to defeat the foreigners in their own game of football.

On 29th of July 1911 Mohun Bagan won the IFA shield beating East Yorkshire 2-1. Eversince there has been no stopping!

The club has won and keeps on winning many a laurel for the country! It has made our Nation Proud!

According to FIFA rankings, in Asia, Mohun Bagan is the 16th biggest team to have an avg. home crowd of 19,888. According to World standards, Mohun Bagan has been ranked of 127 much ahead of other big clubs like Udinese(Italy), Benfica(Portugal) and Fulham(England) to mention a few.

It is however,not an easy task to consolidate the history of a club which is more than 117 years old*...(read more...)

*For Further Info:Please visit The Offical site of MAC: History section please open in a New Window

Location: Kolkata Maidan
Colours:
Green and Maroon
Symbol: Sail Boat

Stadium: Mohun Bagan ground
Yuva Bharati Krirangan

MOHUN BAGAN AC- It's not just a club, it is an institution, a religion, a passion. LIVE IT...DIE FOR IT...

A Pictorial trip of the Mohun Bagan Ground!

Satellite Imagery of our Club Ground!*
*Open in a New Window please.
Images of Yuva Bharati Krirangan*
*Open in a New Window please.

Photos by: Soumyadeb Sinha
Photos by: Soumyadeb Sinha

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