By Shoubhik Mukhopadhyay,
AIFF Media Team
BENGALURU: Venkatesh Shanmugam, fondly called as ‘Venky’ feels Bengaluru FC are the ‘title favourites’ for the Hero I-League which kicks-off tomorrow (January 7, 2017) when the Blues host Shillong Lajong FC at the ‘Fortress’ – the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
“Bengaluru FC have shown to all how to run a system. They are like a well-oiled machine. After last season’s heroics, especially representing our nation in the AFC Cup final, they themselves have raised the bar. I believe, they’ll elevate their game to the next level even this season,” Venky spoke at one go when www.i-league.org caught up with him.
The Bengaluru-based ex-National team captain doesn’t hide his emotions while saying: “Bengaluru FC represented India in the AFC Cup Final, that too within three years of inception. They have a proper planning and they are on course to rightly execute it.”
“Barring Bengaluru FC, none had a proper off-season regime. Thanks to their successful AFC Cup campaign, the team stuck together. This will eventually pay off in the forthcoming I-League season,” Venky predicted.
“The fans in Bangaluru are loud and travelling teams will have to overcome the psychological aspect. If a team can snatch a point from the ‘Fortress,’ they have to be given the due credit. The job is extremely difficult and a very daunting task indeed,” he stated. “The City just can’t wait for the League to kick-off.”
‘Do you want to single out any Player from JSW Bengaluru FC?’
“Well, Bengaluru FC doesn’t depend on any one individual. It’s a proper team as Sunil stresses every time he speaks. But their new recruits need to get accustomed to the system – the earlier the better for them. After all, a coach is as good as his players.”
Venkatesh will be travelling to various venues in the Hero I-League as a spotter for the National Team along with National Coach Stephen Constantine.