Pradhyum Reddy stated that Bengaluru FC benefitted from several clubs having let go of good Indian players last summer.
On being asked to share the secret of their success, he said, “To be cheeky I would say, other clubs have been silly, They let good players go and there were a lot of good players in Indian football. There were a lot of good players that Indian football discarded or choose not to sign. We set up a club and those were the only players available. Two (factually one – Johnny Menyongar) of the players discarded by Dempo scored today.”
The former Shillong Lajong boss mentioned that they did well in picking the right foreign players, namely John Johnson, Curtis Osano, Sean Rooney and Johnny Menyongar who performed consistently throughout the season.
“We were very smart when we picked up players who were very young, talented, had the potential to grow over the next two years and some seasoned experience players. We probably also picked up the combination of four best foreigners in the I-League. They didn’t have to be changed all season. Every game they have done very well.”
He also credited coach Ashley Westwood for rubbing in his professionalism on the squad and turning them into an efficient unit.
“Ashley has done a fantastic job. He came in and brought in what the owners (Jindal Steel Works) wanted it to be, more like how professional clubs are run everywhere else in the world. He has done a fantastic job and it’s amazing what he has achieved in terms of getting this group of players.You journalists wouldn’t have given a chance this season and he moulded them into a good unit. His strength is the team and there is no individual (star) over here. It was entirely the team effort. There was a lot of off field stuff as we can’t give away our secret that also led to the success.”
Since their opening game of the season against Mohun Bagan which ended in a 1-1 draw at home, Reddy believes that Bengaluru FC have grown as a side.
“I think a bit of maturity has been added. I think if you think about the first game against Bagan, we conceded in the 95th minute in injury time. We did that a couple of time this season against Mumbai FC.It was a young team and we make these mistakes. I think that the maturity showed now, when we were 3-2 down we still kept our shape and finished the game.
“Sunil (Chhetri) adapted to a new role, and he possible could end up as the league’s top scorer. So everyone has to adapt to playing this way. It’s a brand new team we put together, and we had a disadvantage when compared to other teams. Of course the Calcutta teams love to change but most other teams are set and are bringing some few players. We didn’t have anybody there, everyone came in.”