The Spanish tactician will be at the helm of the club in the next season.
The merged company of ATK and Mohun Bagan yesterday came to an agreement to retain the iconic Green and Maroon colours of Mohun Bagan, while the 131-year legacy of the sailing boat logo will also remain the same. Only the prefix ‘ATK’ has been added to the name and logo.
After the announcement, the Indian football fraternity has heaped praise and welcomed the Mariners to the Indian Super League. From the club’s Principal Owner, Sanjiv Goenka to Mohun Bagan official Debasish Dutta, everyone has hailed the merger as a new dawn in Indian football.
The head coach of ATK Mohun Bagan, Antonio Habas also shared the same thoughts as his employer. “I have good feelings for the future,” Habas told IANS.
“I think the merger is right and the shirt colour adds history to it, lots of it,” added the Spanish tactician who inspired ATK to their third ISL title last season and is the league’s most successful coach with two titles. So, right after last season, it was announced by Goenka that Habas will remain as the head of the merged team.
“We’ll have the best players we can for ATK Mohun Bagan. We have to take advantage of the history and experience of Mohun Bagan and the youth and energy of ATK. They have great fans, deep history and they are a good team too,” Habas said hailing Mohun Bagan’s legacy and their I-league win last season.
From the next campaign onward, there is a mandatory rule of including two development players born in or after 2000 in the 18-man squad for every matchday. The foreigners’ count is also come down, with clubs only allowed to sign six foreigners and field four, with the compulsion of picking a player of Asian origin.
“The most important thing which will help football in India is that players are well trained and that work at the academies with qualified coaches is prioritized,” added the 63-year-old Antonio Habas in agreement.
There is also a huge possibility of the ISL taking place behind closed doors and even in some select cities, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. When quizzed whether he would miss the large Mohun Bagan fanbase in the stands regularly, Habas said, “We will follow the ISL rules and do the best for the health of fans and professionals. The main thing is that COVID 19 is extinct.”
“I am looking forward to seeing our fans. Mohun Bagan has a rich history and huge fan following,” Antonio Habas signed off.