The CFL kicks off on Friday as city giants Mohun Bagan take on Peerless in the opening fixture at home.
As the Kolkata teams kicks-off their next season with the Calcutta Football League (CFL) on Friday, many eyes will be upon them. One of the most competitive football tournaments in India, the CFL have time and again, proved its glitters as it has played out memorable games and unearthed several stars. As the 2019 edition of the league starts with Mohun Bagan, the reigning champions take on Peerless, one of the few dark horses from last season, we take a look at five of the underachievers who will be determined to leave their mark this season.
5. Southern Samity
A team that can really give a run for their money to the others in the league this season. With overseas signings like Dipanda Dicka, Kalu Ogba , Teah Dennis Junior (former Liberia captain) and Mahmoud Al-Amna (former Aizawl, East Bengal & Minerva Punjab midfielder), the club is looking stronger than ever.
Former Indian international Mehtab Hossain has been appointed as the technical director of the side. Mehtab, with his vast experience of playing in the big Indian clubs like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will definitely be an important figure to the side. Not to forget seasoned veterans like Jewel Raja and Ashim Biswas, who will also bring stability to this side which will be crucial for them in their quest for the title in 2019.
4. BSS Sporting Club
Within only three years of it’s formation, the club has left its mark in the Calcutta Football League. With their most recent success coming in 2017, when the became the champions of the CFL First division.
The club have made overseas signings such as William Opoku and Bright Middleton, who are expected to be on display during the league. Opuko has previously been an I-League Champion with Minerva Punjab in the 2017-2018 season where Middleton has prior experience of playing for Aizawl and Gokulam Kerala FC.
The club has also appointed Former Mohammedan Sporting head coach Raghu Nandy, as the new Technical Director of the club for this season and will surely have a lot of hopes pinned on their shoulders.
3. Bhawanipore FC
Another club that will definitely want to lay their claim to the throne is Bhawanipore FC . After getting promoted to the top division this season the club will surely be looking forward to impress with their performance. With Shankarlal Chakraborty (former Mohun Bagan head coach and last year’s CFL winner) in their ranks the club is poised to show it’s growth this season.
2. Peerless S.C.
The runners-up last season, Peerless will definitely look to forget about missing out on the title in 2018 and come in with renewed vigour. A difference of four points with the champions Mohun Bagan may have marred their chances but the quality of football that was displayed by the club was nothing short of spectacular.
Ansumana Kromah became the top scorer of the CFL last season with 11 goals. If they can keep up the energy from last season and find a proven goalscorer, this team will surely become a force to be reckoned with in the competition.
1. New Barrackpore Rainbow AC
One of the biggest surpries from Calcutta Football League 2018, Rainbow will once again make an appearance in the league this season. The club exceeded expectations with their performance in the last season under the coaching of Tarit Ghosh, however, conceded some poor goals in crunch fixtures.
This season, Prasanta Chakraborty has taken up the mantle of the head coach, who is known for his compact gameplay and is expected to deliver favorable results compared to last year. With a strong forward in the side like Joel Sunday, the club has every reason to be confident about their performance this season.