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The East Bengal players were fascinated to meet their new coach and have high expectations…

First impressions are the best impressions - and this held true as far as Marcos Falopa was concerned as he was introduced as coach of East Bengal to his team. Though the coach is only two days old and it would be best if opinions on him were restrained to certain extent, it didn’t stop the East Bengal players from gushing about their new coach. And a majority of the times, the players’ view on their coaches is what matters.

During his brief visit to the team tent, Falopa met up with a few players, notably senior ones such as Mehtab Hussain, captain of East Bengal for the upcoming season and Abhra Mondal, goalkeeper of East Bengal . Both, after their meeting with him, seemed to suggest that he was a very amicable person and friendly by nature.

“He came across as a very good human being. Obviously, he is vastly experienced as a coach, but as a person too we liked what we saw. He was nice to chat with and we even shared jokes,” Mehtab enunciated to The Telegraph.

“He mixed very well and very easily with the players. In spite of being such an experienced professional, he was friendly all through… Such a cheerful person,” chimmed Abhra.

“Like Morgan, Falopa too wants us to give our 100 per cent on the field and he wouldn’t settle for anything less. His off-the-field behaviour has been great. Only time will tell how he will be on the field. We expect him to be the best,” Abhra explained, while he and Hussain implied that the coach hadn’t spoken on serious terms since relations were still in the introductory phase.

What was interesting to note is that Mehtab alluded to Falopa’s character and nature being similar to that of his predecessor, Trevor James Morgan, off the pitch. Hussain however, chose to remain mum on the Brazilians on-field nature, as he hadn’t had any exposure to it yet.

"It’s immaterial to compare the past with the future. Morgan was a great coach, but he is our past. Falopa is our future. He is the person who will take the team forward. Every coach has his own style and it’s not right to compare between them,” elucidated Mehtab logically.

Mehtab also said that Falopa’s straightforward tact had indeed surprised him. "He was very clear when he pointed out the futility of trying to think of Indian football in terms of European powerhouses like Barcelona. He was straightforward in saying that he would adopt the Indian style. That makes so much easier for the players,” he was to say.

East Bengal are expected to flag off their first practice session under their new coach Falopa next Wednesday, with Kalyani being planned as their residential camp.

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