Mridul Banerjee named East Bengal coach till Federation Cup

In a major twist of events, East Bengal named Mridul Banerjee as its coach till the Federation Cup. After its English recruit Trevor James Morgan stepped down Monday evening, following the team’s defeat against DSK Shivajians, there were indications that the Kolkata giant will be roping in veteran Armando Colaco as the new coach.

Mridul Banerjee will coach East Bengal till the Federation Cup.   -  Sanjoy Ghosh

In a major twist of events, East Bengal named Mridul Banerjee as its coach till the Federation Cup. After its English recruit Trevor James Morgan stepped down Monday evening, following the team’s defeat against DSK Shivajians, there were indications that the Kolkata giant will be roping in veteran Armando Colaco as the new coach.

Even the seasoned Goan coach had told Sportstar that he has been approached by the Kolkata club to take charge. But on Tuesday morning, the club officials appointed Santosh Trophy-winning Bengal coach Banerjee as the new coach.

“Mridul is our choice and has been appointed coach. He has been given a contract till the Federation Cup,” East Bengal general secretary Kalyan Majumdar said. Sources in the club, however, indicate that with the club hosting Minerva in its next fixture on Sunday, it wouldn’t have been possible for Colaco to take charge at such a short notice.

56-year-old Banerjee recently coached Bengal to a record 32nd title in the Santosh Trophy National Football Championship stunning Goa in Goa. East Bengal is now third on the I-League table with 27 points from 16 fixtures, below title-contenders Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan. East Bengal’s hopes for the elusive I-League title went up in smoke after a 0-1 loss on to DSK Shivajians on Sunday—— its fourth on the trot.

East Bengal’s string of losses began with Churchill Brothers. It went on to be beaten by Chennai City FC. The derby defeat was enough for the fans, who laid siege at the club last week demanding “Morgan go back“.

The club gave Morgan a lifeline till Federation Cup but the under-fire Englishman sent the resignation letter to football secretary Santosh Bhattacharya.

Earlier, Colaco had admitted that he would be taking a stock of things in a bid to perform better with East Bengal. “East Bengal had approached me a couple of days back. I told them I am available, but first they need to sort out their issues with Trevor. I will like to take charge of the team for the last two I-League games as well. It will help me to take stock of the situation and the ability of the players,” Colaco had told Sportstar on Monday.

It seems, even he was not expecting such a twist in the tale!