Eelco Schattorie: I will field reserve players in the Kolkata league

The Dutchman was pleased that his side started their campaign with a win but was quick to add that they still need to improve on various fronts...

United Sports Club notched up an impressive 2-0 home victory against Rangdajied United in Kolkata in their opening encounter of the I-League.

Eelco Schattorie, the coach of the Purple Brigade, was happy with his team’s performance, but opined that there is still room for improvement.

“I am extremely proud of my boys. I give them full credit for the victory,” the Dutch manager remarked.

The coached also slammed the scheduled 3.00 p.m. kickoff of the match. “It’s too hot and humid in the noon. That makes it more difficult to play our own game. The teams have to play negative football then. In the second half, I changed the tactics. I told Eric (Brown) to operate from behind and that’s when we started creating more chances,” he told.

United SC had only 21 days of practice going into this game and pulled off a good first day show to bag the three points. Schattorie however stressed that a lot more needs to be done.

“In the first half, we conceded five corners from the left end. That was bad defending. Vineeth was also not tracking back and I had to substitute him,” told the gaffer.

The coach also slammed the objective of the Kolkata League as he declared that he will employ his second team against Mohammedan Sporting in the midweek fixture.

“I don’t care about what others or even my club officials are saying. According to me, the match has no importance. We will field our reserve players. The boys, who are not getting chances in the first team, will play. I don’t know the objective of this league. Every year, either East Bengal or Mohun Bagan wins this, but none of the Kolkata clubs can win the I-League for many years now. Last year, in one of our matches (against Mohun Bagan), the opponent coach appealed for problems with lights and the match was suspended. It can only be used as a youth development platform,” Schattorie sounded rational.

Eelco, however played a masterstroke when he included Biswajit Sarkar, an U-23 player in the first XI, but replaced him only in the seventh minute which made a mockery of the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) stipulation to have a youngster in the line-up. The coach defended his action by telling that these kinds of restrictions should not be applied at the highest level of a nation’s football structure.

“Last year we had Pailan, a developmental side run by the AIFF. Now, I-League is the highest standard league of the nation and has to be compared universally with other leagues. These kinds of rules may only be applied on the Kolkata league or the Goa league. Like the boy (Biswajit) who played today, has potential but needs time to get into the first team,” he remarked.

They next face Sporting Clube de Goa and Schattorie sounded cautious and stated, “It will be hard against a Goan team. Tapan Maity has hurt his ankle and we also have to take a look at that,” Eelco signed off.


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