BY ANSELM NORONHA Follow @apnoronha on twitter
Shillong Lajong FC and Rangdajied United FC will face-off in the first ever Shillong derby in the I-League on 22 November at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Meghalaya.
The Reds' striker, Cornell Glen, feels that his side can capitalise on Randajied lack of experience in the top division and get a positive result.
"It's going to be a good game with a lot of fans. I'm excited to get on the field and be in the game. We expect a win. Rangdajied [United] isn't doing as well right now, but they are a new team and it will take time for them to gel. So hopefully we can capitalise on that and have a good game on Friday," Glen told Goal.
The 32-year-old stated that he would love to see football, which is already a popular sport grow in the north east, to further develop at the grassroots level.
"On an overall basis, there is still room for a lot of improvement but I think it's looking positive. I think there are a lot of initiatives, sponsors and fan support and there's a lot of work done at the [Shillong Lajong] academy to develop the game which is always good. I'd love to see where they end up in the next 20 years," he said.
The 2006 World Cupper has meanwhile picked Pune FC as one of his favourites to win the I-League but also stressed that Lajong FC can compete against any team one their day.
"I cannot say who the strongest contender is as I haven't played against all the teams, but I can definitely say that I think Pune [FC] has probably the most organised defense. They could be one of the teams who can win the I-League," Glen reasoned.
"We (Lajong FC) have a lot of work to do but we can also compete with any team in the I-League once we perform on the day. We have lost a lot of points but I think we can do well," he added.
Moving his attention back to facing Rangdajied United on Friday, Glen maintained that his side's focus would be to climb the standings ladder in the I-League.
"It's going to be a good physical game. I don't expect any big scores or anything like that. It's a derby match so there are going to be a lot of crowd support, a lot of people out there. We're expecting to win and move up the table - that's our ambition. Our ambition is not to focus on the rivalry in the derby, but to win," he concluded.
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