Opponent watch: DSK Shivajians

Mumbai F.C will host DSK Shivajians in the Maharashtra Derby on Sunday in HERO I-league 16th round which will be the final piece of hurdle of this season’s I-league. The host needs at least a draw to avoid relegation, whereas DSK Shivajians will be looking to do a double on their arch rivals as they have already beaten The Yellow Submarine when they visited Balewadi earlier this season.

Last week, the Yellow Submarine finally ended their 10 games winless run after a 2-1 win over relegation battling side Shillong Lajong. The win has also moved Mumbai F.C two place up to 7th in the I-league standings. Though Mumbai F.C need only a point in their last match, Khalid Jamil’s side will be surely looking to end their season on a high note with a win, and as it is a derby Mumbai F.C will hope to take a sweet revenge on their bitter rivals.

History 

The club was founded in 1987 and got promoted to the Pune Super Division, the top football league in the Pune district of Maharashtra, in 1989.

Then in early 2013 the club announced their intent to make it at the national level of Indian football by asking for direct entry into the I-League, from the All India Football Federation, along with Dodsal. However in January 2013 it was announced that instead of direct entry, DSK would have to participate and finish in a top two spot in the 2013 I-League 2nd Division if they want to win promotion to the I-League.

DSK did participated but couldn’t managed to qualify from their group. Though in November 2015, DSK’s permission of a direct entry was approved by the AIFF, making them the second club to represent Maharashtra in this season’s I-league.

Head Coach

Derrick Pereira has been DSK’s head coach who was appointed at the start of the I-league 2015/16 season. Pereira’s coaching career began when he began coaching Salgaocar U-19. That was a job which he held for two seasons. Next came coaching the first team at Vasco SC which he did for five seasons till 2005. Another prominent assignment was coaching Mahindra United from 2005 to 2009. Then in June 2009 Pereira signed on with Pune FC, where he has now managed for two seasons, leading them to top-five finishes in each season.

 At the start of 2013-14 I-League campaign Salgaocar replaced David Booth with Derrick Pereira. Salgaocar started the 2013-14 I-League brightly and at one time led the table for 6 gameweeks, but a rough patch of 8 games, which included 4 straight losses, derailed their campaign and saw them lose the title to Bengaluru FC. Salgaocar finished their campaign at 3rd place, which was a marked improvement over their past two campaign finishes.

Back in 1980’s, Derrick played for Salgaocar before moving to Tata Football Academy for one year. In 1986, Derrick once again joined Salgaocar and stayed there till the end of his career in 1999.

Key Players

Cameroonian Asier Pierrick Dipanda Dicka has been DSK’s best player so far, with the front man scoring seven goals of DSK’s sixteen goals this season. It will be quite fascinating to see how the Cameroonian adapts at Cooperage’s turf which is quite difficult to play on. DSK also has one of India’s best defender Sandesh Jhingan who has been impressive for both, the National team and his club. The gritty defender could be the difference when Mumbai meets DSK on Sunday evening. The clash on Sunday will also welcome back Sampath Kuttymani who had played for Mumbai F.C in the last couple of seasons, he too has been impressive for Derrick Pereira’s side. Not to forget, DSK is led by none other than the ‘Spiderman’ Subrata Pal.

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