The Red and Gold kick-start a schedule that sees them play three games in six days…

Calcutta Football League champions East Bengal face Bongobi Ogragami Club of Sylhet, Bangladesh tomorrow at the Nehru Stadium, Guwahati in their opening fixture of Bordoloi Trophy.

East Bengal coach Ranjan Chaudhuri has a young and inexperienced squad with him and to provide a good result with some of the senior team members and nine academy players would be a challenge which the experienced customer knows well.

The former academy coach of Pune FC, who was having a stomach disorder is now fit to sit in the dugout and said,”This will be a challenge for me to coach this bunch of young talent. But I love to take up a challenge. I am now fit and will lead my young side from the dugout.”

Few of the Red and Gold’s senior players with the Coach and Goalkeeper Coach Abhijit Mondal had visited the main stadium last evening to have a glimpse of the match between ASEB and United Sikkim as these teams are part of EB’s group B in the tournament.

The whole East Bengal squad trained in the morning in the main stadium before they left for an hour long gym session which few of the senior players attended. In the training session the Red and Gold’s manager Ranjan Chaudhuri gave more stress on combination and situation practice as East Bengal achieved most of their goals in the recently concluded CFL through set-pieces.

Goalkeeping Coach Abhijit Mondal trained the goalkeepers and it seems CFL’s regular senior custodian Luis Barreto may be rested while Dibyendu Sarkar or Abhilash Paul may get a start. East Bengal is set to start with all three foreigners in the playing XI. Korean hitman Dong is desperate to prove his worth in this tournament as he knows his performance will be under the scanner and the same goes for Calum Angus.

Few of the academy boys too will get a start and it is quite certain Mehtab Singh and Bidyasagar Singh will make it to the playing XI while Nikhil Poojary and Prohlad Roy will lead the midfield. Angus with promising young defender Kousik Sarkar will lead the defense in the absence of Arnab and Gurwinder.

The East Bengal team management is only worried about the gap between each match. As per the previous fixtures, the Red and Gold brigade had a gap of two days in between games but now with the rescheduled fixtures it is reduced to one day.

Coach Chaudhuri looked worried in this regard and said, “If any of my players get injured, they won’t get the proper recovery time.” Before signing off the gaffer added, “This is the challenge for my academy boys to prove that the club officials did not make any mistake in selecting them with the senior team and they have that potential to play with the senior players.”

Preview by Khel Now Correspondent Rony. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.