5 reasons for Central Bank of India’s great start to the season

Central Bank of India (CBI) have surprised everyone with their start to the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) Elite Division season having picked up seven points from their opening games. The start to the season has more to it than just the seven points after considering these points came against teams which all finished above them last season.

CBI take on Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF) in the Elite Division today at Cooperage and we analyse what factors have been responsible in CBI’s superb start to the season

1. Massive squad overhaul

Central Bank of India battled relegation in last year’s Elite Division and finished at a lowly 13th position in the league. The team lacked any kind of bite and struggled to impose themselves in games. After a disappointing campaign, the CBI hierarchy got back to the drawing board and completely changed the team from last time. Having retained just 4 players from last season, CBI got rid of the deadwood and brought in a totally new group of players.

The squad overhaul not just freshened the CBI side, but also gave them back their old swagger. The coaching staff deserve great credit for handling the mass exodus so well and turning around the situation for the Bankers. So this new CBI team which include the top performers from last season, don’t have the baggage of CBI’s poor performance of last season and have started with a fresh mentality, which has reflected in the team’s performances and also the results.

2. Faith in the youth

The biggest reason for CBI’s success has been their trust and faith in the youth. CBI made a bold move to recruit young talented players from lower divisions who have shown the right hunger and appetite for the game so far this campaign. The presence of these youngsters in the team have also given CBI plenty of energy and that has been key in their success so far this campaign.

Coach Ramesh Subramaniam revealed that many of his new players have made the step up necessary to play in the Elite Division and felt that his team are thrilled at this opportunity. “We have picked up players from lower divisions. They have responded brilliantly and are showing the eagerness to perform well in the Elite division. I feel this is a great learning curve for them and the players are showing great attitude on the pitch and also during training,” said Subramaniam.

3. Central Bank’s King Khan

Central Bank of India have their very own King Khan who is ruling the rost at the moment in their attack. The namesake of Bollywood superstar Sharukh Khan, this Shahrukh is making the headlines for different reasons. One of the greatest success of CBI’s faith in the youth has been the signing of Shahrukh Khan who has scored in CBI’s opening two games. Even in the game against Western Railways, his movement in the box created problems for the Western Railways rearguard which eventually succumbed to a 93rd minute goal in that game.

Coach Ramesh Subramaniam had words of praise for his striker Sharukh and called him an astute finisher. “Our striker Sharukh is a very good player. He has been scoring goals since the pre-season and has continued his form in the main matches as well. His movement off the ball is very good and keeps the defenders guessing. So far he has been really impressive and has contributed to our unbeaten start to the season,” said Subramaniam who is also a national level referee.

4. Experienced figures in key areas

Despite leading a major overhaul during the break and vesting their faith in the youth, the CBI think tank did extremely well to rope in experienced players in the key areas of the pitch. CBI retained Russell Galbano who plays as a central midfielder for the Bankers and has been very effective yet again this season. Galbano alongwith another experienced campaigner Raj Bhoir have done well to form a good partnership and have lead the younger players well in tough situations.

Captain Rithik Mukherjee has marshalled the defence well and has got the best out of youngsters like John Fernandes who has eased into life in the Elite Division after making a huge jump up from the 2nd Divsion. The presence of these experienced players in key areas has given this CBI side great balance while also provided the team with stable heads to control difficult scenarios in games.

5. Prathamesh Kasare has grown from strength to strength

Prathamesh Kasare has been one of the finds of the season. Kasare isn’t new to the league having played for sides like Air India in the past, but this season he has looked a totally different player. He netted the injury time winner against Western Railways, although a bit fortuitously, but provided a constant threat down CBI’s right hand side.

Coach Ramesh Subramaniam hailed Kasare for his performances and termed him the best player in his team. “I think Prathamesh Kasare has been our best player. He has had the experience of playing in the Elite Division before, but he has been so good for us and has been instrumental in converting a draw into a win. I feel he has great potential ahead and is going to be a top player for us this season,” said Subramaniam as he heaped praise on Kasare.


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