I League Qualifiers Preview – Bhawanipore look to make History

Bhawanipore FC

Having come close previously in 2014, this time around Bhawanipore FC, will leave no stone unturned as they look to qualify for the I league for the first time in the clubs history.

On ground, this is their best chance to qualify for the main round of I-League 2020-2021. The club remains determined and aspired to achieve their goal as their coach, Shankarlal Chakraborty looks forward to win the second division league.

Bhawanipore FC managed to finish second in their group in the preliminary round of the qualifiers. The club had started the campaign with a loss against a strong Mohammedan SC but did just well to pick up 8 points from the next four games. Despite missing out the last two games due to Covid pandemic, Bhawanipore had done enough to qualify for the final round.

Having scored a total of 7 goals in the 5 matches they played, the club had let go off Pankaj Moula, who was loaned to them by Peerless FC and was the clubs highest goal scorer in the qualifying rounds with 3 goals to his name. However, the club has bolstered the attack with the signing of African attacking duo, Ansumana Kromah from Liberia and Philip Adjah from Ghana.

Ansumana, who last played for East Bengal in I-League 2019-20 had finished as the top scorer in the Calcutta Football League with 13 goals. Having played for clubs like East Bengal and Churchill Brothers, Kromah will add a much needed attacking experience to the squad. Meanwhile his strike partner Philip too had a fairly decent run with Neroca FC last season. The Ghanaian striker scored 9 goals and assisted twice in 9 games. The replacement of Pankaj Moula with the African duo may prove to be the trump card for Chakraborty’s team.

The tournament looks set to be close affair with some high profile signings by clubs. Players like Kromah, Willis Plaza, Eze Kingsley, Robert Primus, Shilton Paul, Rana Gharami come with experience of playing in ISL and I League. The tournament looks set to be a close encounter. Speaking about the competition in the tournament, midfielder Altamash Sayed said “Every team has worked very hard. It would be a treat to watch the experienced players competing against each other. I am sure it is going to be very competitive and everyone has an equal opportunity to qualify.”

Meanwhile another new recruit in Jiten Murmu, who joined from Peerless Group on a free transfer, is looking to inspire his whole community by winning the qualifiers and the second division title, “I want to win the Hero I-League Qualifier and dedicate the victory to my people. That’s what keeps driving me on at the moment. I’d love to see more kids coming out of the community and do well in football in the future. And if I can do my bit to inspire them to do so, I’d be more than happy,”

Read More: Bhawanipore FC’s Jiten Murmu looks to inspire community with Hero I-League Qualifier win

The teams coach, Shankarlal Chakraborty had said in August that his team’s main target would be to win the I-League second division. The presence of Chakraborty as the head coach will motivate the players immensely. An ex Mohun Bagan and East Bengal player, he has also coached Mohun Bagan and went on to win the Calcutta Football League in 2018-19. Talking about the preparation, Chakraborty said, “We are looking to overcome the news of 3 of our players testing positive for Covid-19. I am looking at players who could replace them in starting XI.” Further adding, “We have trained hard and our complete focus is on Bangalore match as they have a very strong unit”.

As per the coach, the team is one step closer towards their goal and have a very big chance of making it to I-League.

Bhawanipore FC take on Bengaluru United in the opener of the I-League second division on 8th October at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

For fixtures, standing and all news on I League 2nd Division – Final Round – Visit here

Also Read: “Each team has an equal opportunity to qualify for the I-League” – Altamash Sayed

For articles on unknown talented footballers – Visit here

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai

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