Vasco club bolsters for I-league battle

Vasco Sports Club gear up for I-league berth

Ajit John / The Goan | FEBRUARY 16, 2013, 08:52 PM IST

With the I-league qualification round taking place nextmonth in Bangalore, the management at NRB Vasco Sports Club will hope the fournew signings will make a decisive mark and help them regain the spot they lostin 2008/09 season. The team signed an Australian national and three Africanswho have plied their trade in the country in the past. They also offloaded tenplayers including three foreigners. Subroto Bhattacharya who recently took up the post of coach felt thatimproving the standard of play was very important since that would ensure goodresults. During the course of the season in the Goa league, the team has wonjust one match, lost three with the other four ending in draws. 

The coach said “the players we let go were not good enough.They were not capable of handling the level of play required at theprofessional level.” Subroto said during his playing days, his motivation to dowell, stemmed from the fact that this club was one of two clubs famous inKolkatta.

German Cabrera, the Australian import who played with FraserPark F.C in a midfield position said his agent was contacted. He said “When Ilearnt it was Goa, he knew there was a Portuguese connection. Considering I amfrom Argentina, language was not a problem here with people speaking alanguage, I was familiar with.”

 Asked what hisopinion was of the level of football being played, he said the coach had a veryEuropean approach to the game which he liked and he was keen on proving hisworth for the course of the contract which would last till this season. Askedif he was open to a longer contact he replied in the affirmative. His objectivehowever now was to ensure his team qualified for the I-league.

For Stephan Offei, one time player at Maccabi Netanya andMaccabi Beer Sheva in Israel, it may seem a far cry from the noise andexcitement of a UEFA match against Galatasaray. Vasco, however will be thefocus of his energies this season. He said “The coach Subroto called me andexplained my role in the team and due to my intense love for the game, Iaccepted the offer.” Asked what his opinion was of the game in the country, hesaid “It is very poor. There is an absence of good coaches, the game ischanging everyday and it would be sad if India is stuck in a slump.” On hisfuture course of action he expressed his desire to possibly return to Israeland play with his old club. 

For the more taciturn Baba Kunde, this is his second sojournin India following an earlier assignment with Sikkim United. A forward, hehopes to fire in the goals to help Vasco qualify for the  league. Speaking about the standard of playin the country he said “It is improving though it is not up to the mark. Giveit some time and it will improve.”

The attempts by the team to win qualification may be boostedby the fact that the club has hired the highest goal scorer of the Bangaloreleague. Emanuel Ejaiju who scored 8 goals in 11 matches and is on loan fromHAL. 

Ajit Patil, CEO of the club revealed the club would betravelling to Bangalore to compete with 7 teams to qualify for a spot in theI-league next month. Two from each group would qualify for the final round.Teams as diverse as Vasco, Mohammedan sporting, Dodsal and Royal Wahingdo willbe competing.  In 2008/09..                            

Meanwhile in a move that could have long term effect for theteam, Nitin Bandekar the President of the club had contacted the stategovernment for a ground and the proposal is being considered. A decision on theSAG ground in Bhuttebhati in Baina, Vasco is likely to be taken shortly.

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