Kolkata: Defending Indian Super League football champions Atletico de Kolkata, who will be back tomorrow from their pre-season conditioning camp in Spain, are in a fix over their practice ground with their home venue Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan not available.
"Practice venue is a major worry for us at the moment, it would be really good to have a feel of Saltlake Stadium before the actual match but we are not sure about getting that before leaving the city for our first match (in Chennai on October 3)," ATK CEO Subrata Talukdar told reporters here today. The relaid natural grass of the Saltlake
Stadium is reportedly damaged after a tournament recently and being one of the venues for FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, it would not be available for full time practice.
ATK are contemplating to make use of either Mohun Bagan ground in Maidan or Vidyasagar Kriranga in the outskirts of the city in Barasat. "The options are limited and once the head coach (Anotonio Habas) comes with the team tomorrow, we'll have to take a call," Talukdar said. With high profile players in the team, arranging security is a concern at the Mohun Bagan ground while the team is averse to training on the artificial turf in Barasat. Meanwhile, ATK announced their tie-up with SRMB Srijan Ltd as one of the six sponsors on the jersey. "SRMB will figure prominently on the chest.
This time, six sponsors are allowed on the jersey and we have almost finalised the sixth one," Talukdar said. With the association, the ATK hoped that SRMB brand ambassador and India's cricket World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev would come to see one of the home matches. As per the tie-up, SRMB is also looking to develop football at grassroots level and scout talents from masons' families, director of SRMB Srijan Ltd Ashish Beriwala said. "It would be really nice to groom budding players from the families of masons.
We will work towards it," Beriwala said. ATK have got a big boost as the number of associate sponsors have increased to 12 from seven last season, Talukdar said without divulging their names. "In due course, they (the sponsors) will announce their tie-ups," he said.