KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club aim to kick off their 2017/18 Calcutta Premier Division – A campaign on all the right notes when they take on Pathachakra Club on Sunday at Kalyani Stadium.
Mohammedan SC, who had a fruitful season last year winning the All India Sikkim Governor’s Cup, are in upbeat mood and heading into the game on the back of the six weeks of pre-season training, which includes a 11-day residential training camp in Kalyani.
Nonetheless, the game against a formidable Pathachakra side, who are making their Calcutta Premier Division – A debut, won’t be an easy one and the gaffer Biswajit Bhattacharya wants his side to be cautious.
“The first match is always difficult, and it is always very important to start any tournament with a victory, as it will set the tone for the entire campaign,” coach Bhattacharya said on the eve of the clash.
“We are young a side. A lot of players will be playing in Kolkata for the very first time. The training camp has helped the boys to shape themselves mentally and physically,” he added.
Speaking about the opponents coach Bhattacharya said: “Pathachkra is one of the toughest teams in the league. They have a well-balanced side and it always gets difficult when you are stacked up against a set of proven players. But I am confident if the boys stay focused and do not get pressurized, things could work in our favour.”
Having defeated Pathachkra in a pre-season game courtesy a Manandeep Singh strike, the Black Panthers enjoy a psychological advantage over them.
However, this time around Mohammedan SC will have to do it without the services of Nigerian midfield maestro Kalu Ogba and striker Manvir Singh.
While Kalu is unavailable for the first match owing to registration issues which occurred due to his late arrival, Manvir has received a call up to the Indian national camp at Mumbai and likely to miss quite a few games.