BY ANSELM NORONHA Follow @apnoronha on twitter
Dempo SC haven’t had the best of starts in the I-League this season having won just two of their eight matches. Not a record by distance for the most successful outfit in the country’s top division league in the last decade.
Shrinivas Dempo, chairman of the club, stated that the team’s budget has been cut down and that the players are adapting to the style of new coach Arthur Papas.
“One thing is that the composition of the team has changed. We had the same set of players for so many years and we are now trying new stuff. We have to also keep in mind that we have reduced the budget for this season.
“Our new coach (Papas) has a new technique. I don't think that when you have new stars, players get acclimatized immediately. So this is no surprise to me. I mean, I knew that it will take some time to stabilize,” he told Goal.
Dempo admitted that his team’s performance has been decent despite having drawn four games. He added that the club’s objective is to bring in younger players in to the squad.
“If you see our last two games, I think we did very well. Against Churchill [Brothers] and even against Mohun Bagan, I think we clearly had an upper hand, though we didn't score [against Bagan].
“I'm pretty pleased with the way things are going and if you look at it, we had five under-23 players in the last game. Eventually, the main objective is that we want to get young players trained and get our own Indians to play rather than getting imported players.”
Winning the league title seems distant and Dempo acknowledged that the club’s priorities have changed as they are building a team for the future.
“Our focus has changed - it is not just winning the I-League. It has changed to building from the grassroot level, developing techniques, developing younger players and building infrastructure. So I think we are in that phase and in that phase probably the beginning is a little jittery. I think going forward they (players) are gaining confidence.”
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