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‘Underdog’ Champions Look To Snatch Hero I-League Again

Tuesday, 12 December 2017|I-League Media

After scripting a miraculous tale of the ‘underdog champions’ by winning the yester edition of the Hero I-League, Aizawl FC are not willing to remove the foot of the pedal in the 11th edition of the national championship, even after undergoing a massive change in team composition.

Newly appointed head coach Paulo Menezes led the defending champions to a 2-2 draw in their first match of the ongoing Hero I-League season against Kingfisher East Bengal, in a match where the Northeast outfit came from two goals down to snatch a point off the ‘red and golds’.

“We have a very good group of players and the most important thing that we have in the team is trust”, said Menezes, “We will take one game at a time and see how we perform. We will try to play to the best of our abilities in each match”

Coming from two goals down to play out a draw in an away fixture speaks volume. But Paulo was far from surprised and said, “We know that the northeastern players are very swift and technical. That fused with a couple of good signings will see us on our way to compete against the best teams in the nation”

But given Aizawl FC’s ‘Leicester’ like story, is there a pressure? “If there is pressure than I can term it as good pressure. A pressure which will help us to perform in every match and the pressure which will see that we give our hundred percent on the field”

“Playing for a club like Aizawl FC which has a very generic fanbase and has a very good story (referring to the Hero I-League win in the last edition) is a motivation in itself”

“The passion of the fans adds in the final touch needed to motivate”, he added.

The Portuguese coach has already been impressed by Aizawl’s setting as a footballing city and feels, “amazing to be a part of something so special”.

“The city is bustling with Aizawl FC colors. It is amazing to see how people from various walks of life come together and cheer for the club. It is a really special sight to see our fans wherever we go, be it home or away.”

Menezes spares less than a second when inquired if Aizawl FC can win the title again and quips, “We can and we will try to win the Hero I-League for the sake of our fans. However, the road will not be easy as some of the best teams in India will be playing to win it.