Shillong Lajong FC and debutant Gokulam Kerala FC face off in their Hero I-League season openers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Monday (November 27). Shillong Lajong Assistant Coach Alison Kharsyntiew attended the pre-match press conference on his team’s behalf.

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Alison said that the first match of any league is hard and since Gokulam is a new side, they will give their best against the host. To him, along with the playing eleven, the twelfth man, that is the supporters, is also very important. He hopes that not only the supporters from the city but also those from the outskirts will come to support the home team.

"They (Gokulam) are a good team, George is a good coach, and we have to be mentally prepared for them", said Alison. He strongly emphasized on this being the first Hero I-League match of Gokulam, who he expects to give their hundred percent. But, he has faith in his players and believes they can win it. Confidence and sportsmanship were clearly evident in his words.

Alison stressed that football is a team sport and if each player commits to defense and offense, then Lajong will concede less goals as compared to the last season.

"My advice to the players is that on Monday, play as a unit and give it all you have", said Alison.

Talking about team co-ordination, he stated that the senior and junior players get along well. The senior players guiding the juniors and the juniors respecting their seniors are the key to a good team performance. In conclusion, there is one thing evident, that this match will be competitive and played with high energy levels. For the spectators, this might well turn out to be a nail-biter.

The match is slated to kick-off at 8 PM