Colaco: Bertos will need time to adjust to conditions

The former Dempo coach was left with no doubt about the capabilities of the 32-year-old Kiwi, while conceding he is experimenting with the line-up...

Armando Colaco, the coach of East Bengal, expects New Zealand World Cupper and the Red and Golds’ latest new marquee recruit, Leo Bertos, to prove his virtues as a world class talent, as the Kiwi settles down to life with the Kolkata club.

Speaking at a press meet after the club’s latest training session, Colaco exclaimed, “Look, there’s absolutely no doubt over Bertos’ capabilities. But the surroundings here, and especially the humidity, is one aspect he needs to cope with. Also, in India, there isn’t a proper discipline as far as football is concerned. If we ourselves take one or two seasons to get used to the scenario, just imagine how difficult it will be for a foreigner!”

“So, you have to be patient with Bertos. And it’s not just him, quite a few of the others also aren’t yet set,” added the veteran coach.

Bertos, who made his club as well as Calcutta Football League (CFL) debut against Aryan in a dappled performance, is expected to feature from the start against Kalighat MS in Tuesday's match.

“Obviously, I do need a little time to adjust with this heat and humidity. But that is possible only if I play more matches and spend more minutes on the ground. To talk of getting a start on Tuesday, I’m optimistic,” surmised the 32-year-old.

Colaco also popped in to explain that he had been experimenting playing players in different positions as options for the I-League and Federation Cup, on account of his senior players getting engaged with the Indian Super League (ISL).

“I must try different players at different positions since some of my regulars will be leaving for the ISL. So, I’ve to make sure we have plenty of options going into difficult competitions. I’ll apply my mind and finalize a proper first XI by Tuesday morning,” revealed the former India coach.

Dudu Omagbemi, another East Bengal recruit, is still unavailable as visa-related issues are still to be ironed out.