Continuity the key factor in Mumbai Strikers growth

Mumbai Strikers

After two mediocre seasons where the club fought for mid-table finishes, Mumbai Strikers belief on continuity has finally bored fruits as the club is now among top contenders for the play-off.

Mumbai Strikers are currently placed at fourth spot in MDFA Elite (Private) Division with some commendable defensive performances throughout the season. In conversation with footballcounter, Co- Founder, CEO and Main team player of Mumbai Strikers sports club – Rohit D’Souza talks about the improved team performances, defensive continuity and challenges faced this season while Coach Maclin D’penha gives his views on the effect of Covid 19 on the league.

Excerpts:

  1. How do you feel about teams performances this season?

Rohit Dsouza: This is our 3rd season in the Elite Division of the MFL and our 17th season in the MDFA. We have improved over the years and this is our best season in these 17 years. The general perception of a good season is if we win silver ware. However here at MS we see things differently. This is our best ranking in this division and Elite being the top most league of the city; it’s been our best year in our journey.

  1. Last season, MS conceded around 50 goals in last two season but this year you have got 7 clean sheets from 9 games so far, Could you elaborate on what defensive changes the team has seen?

Rohit Dsouza: We at MS do not make a lot of changes in our squad. We do not react to situations by overhauling our squad. We respect loyalty over quality and invest in our players. We have players who are on a journey with us from non league playing days. We only learn from every season and apply the learning’s accordingly to our game.

At MS, we refrain from doing away with or sacking players. We let them go if they wish to leave. That’s been our process all along this journey. I would credit this to the tactical awareness of the coaching staff and the commitment of the players on and off the pitch.

  1. What has stood out for a club this season?

Rohit Dsouza: Our players played as a team. If we had individual standout performers then some of them should have made it to the Mumbai District Team. It is a question we need to ask. The results on the field speak something and my inference for this difference is we have some of the best team players of the city. We can give our opponents a run for their money on the field and make them sweat.

  1. What are the challenges your team faced this season?

Rohit Dsouza: After Much effort the public sector Institute and the Clubs were segregated during the 2018-19 season. However there were plans of mixing it, which would again create confusion for a berth in I league for clubs from Mumbai.

However this was averted with 12 Clubs signing a petition to maintain status quo. So the start was a little uncertain, which was a challenge for us to set our goal for the season. This season we had a very limited squad of only 19 players. We also had a change in the coaching staff Maclin D’penha and Varun Dsouza, who were assisting under Sandeep singh, took over the team in between the season.

A challenge we have faced every year is that there is no tentative calendar for the matches so that makes or pre during and post season periods unpredictable but that problem is faced by all the teams right down the pyramid by teams and this can be sorted by a collective effort by all stake holders.

Mumbai Strikers

Mumbai Strikers Coach Maclin D’penha in action

  1. With Covid 19 league had to be stopped, how disappointing it has been for the players especially with the team in Playoff race? What has been your message to the players at this time?

Coach Maclin D’penha: I think it is a unprecedented situation, and obviously as an individual you feel a little disappointed not only because we were having a good run of results, but, also because you are going to stay away from the sport for a while.

The message to them is to stay strong and be positive as we are all in this together, and as far as I know the group, I’m very confident we will all cope well.

Related Read:

MDFA Elite Division (Private): Close contest up top as just five points separate five teams

For Elite Division League Fixtures and Table – – -> Click here 


For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football 

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