Sunil Chhetri, Churchill's new recruit spoke ahead of their first AFC Cup group stage game against Hong Kong's Kitchee SC...
Churchill Brothers are all set to experience the thrill of participating in a continental tournament when they face Kitchee in the AFC Cup in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Churchill, who received the opportunity to play in this Cup as a result of Dempo’s withdrawal from it, are upbeat to make a mark in the competition.
Having signed India captain Sunil Chhetri on loan from Sporting Lisbon ‘B’ to help them replace the loss of Lebanese striker, Akram Moghrabi, Churchill are certainly entering the competition on a high after a good run of form domestically where they are hot favorites to win the I-League.
A confident Chhetri said, “Kitchee are a good side, (I) just watched their match on the 24th and heard about the team through newspaper reports.“
“We are doing great in the domestic league and hope to bring that same form into the AFC Cup, though we will be missing two influential players in Beto and Balal Arezou,” he said talking about Churchill's new Afghanistani forward, Arezou who hasn’t travelled with the squad due to visa problems and their skipper who misses out due to an injury.
When asked about how well he has been able to settle in his new team and new surroundings after being outside the country for long, Chettri who scored twice on his Churchill debut against Dempo SC in the Goa League said,”I am a new member of the squad and hope to gel quickly with the team.”
Chettri, who had garnered huge praise when he earned the move to Europe with Sporting Lisbon, had a difficult time there breaking into their first team. Talking about his experience there, he reminisced,”I didn’t get a lot of game time, however the experience has been great. They have one of the best academies in the world which is only second to Barcelona's Academy."
“I hope I have improved as a footballer and can implement what i have learnt over there at Churchill Brothers Goa” he concluded.
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