Kolkata: Mohun Bagan on Friday set the ball
rolling for a new football season after a tumultuous year that
saw them finishing fifth in the I-League, by appointing
Stanley Rozario as their head coach.
The Kolkata giants, who had a disappointing 2009-10
season that saw three coaches at the helm and the team
finishing fifth in I-League, also announced a 34-member squad
with former Mahindra United striker Muritala Ali as their
Ishfaq Ahmed was named captain while a slot for the Asian
player quota would be announced later, the club management
A former India assistant coach Rozario, who was sacked
after East Bengal`s Federation Cup debacle in 2008-09 season,
said he is happy to be back "in the football-loving city of
Rozario, who left I-League debutantes Shillong Lajong FC
which is facing relegation, said Mohun Bagan would give his
coaching career a right platform.
"With Mohun Bagan, I can become the coach of the
champions club of India... I have come to the right platform.
This club has history and it`s always my favourite club," said
Terming his new assignment a "hot seat", Rozario said, "I
know the pressure of being a coach of Kolkata side. I am
taking this as a challenge and I have self-belief and
confidence to do well for the club."
The coach said Mohun Bagan have a balanced squad that has
20 players from the region which is really a positive aspect.
"This team will play as a unit, we have players from the
region and it will be easy to be like a family. Besides, we
have the three top strikers (in Muritala, Barreto and Chidi),"
Rozario also said he had an offer from East Bengal but he
opted for Mohun Bagan.
"I respect all the clubs. But I had coached them
previously ... There is no permanent place for a coach.
Everywhere in the world, it`s the same," Rozario said.
Talking about his Lajong experience, he said, "The boys
were totally new, except for Daniel Bidemi. I built up the
team and we made the Federation Cup final. It`s unfortunate
that the side got relegated. The race was so close and one
point mattered the most in the end."
A Bob Houghton understudy, Rozario, was roped in by East
Bengal for the 2008-09 season but the Banglorean was sacked
following their Federation Cup debacle.
Rozario then joined Salgaocar and helped the Goans regain
the I-League berth and later switched to Lajong before the
start of the 2009-10 season.
An AFC A licence holder, Rozario, was with Services
I-League 2008-09 runners up, Mohun Bagan had Karim
Bencherifa, Satyajit Chatterjee and Biswajit Bhattacharya as
their coaches in the just-concluded season.
Mohun Bagan will begin the 2010-11 season with a camp
beginning July 17 and the club is next planning for an
outstation camp to be held either in Jalpaiguri or Guwahati in
Goalkeepers: Sangram Mukherjee, Shilton Paul, Pralay
Dutta, Sudipta Banerjee;
Defenders: Sheikh Azim, Sangram Mandi, Karan Atwal,
Kinshuk Debnath, Rahul Kumar, Surkumar Singh, Habibur Rahman
Mondal, Biswajit Saha, Parminder Singh, R Dhanarajan,
Nagimuddin Mollick, Suman Dutta;
Midfielders: Ishfaq Ahmed, Rakesh Masih, Snehashish
Chakraborty, Manish Mathani, Souvik Chakraborty, Dipendu
Dowary, Jayanta Sen, Sheikh Jewel Raja, Gouranga Dutta, Satish
Kumar (Jr), Santosh Oraon, Surabuddin Mollick;
Forwards: Jose Ramirez Barreto, Edeh Chidi, Muritala Ali,
Jagtar Singh, Jacken Sebastian;
Chief coach: Stanley Rozario and Goalkeeping coach;