BY ANSELM NORONHA Follow @apnoronha on twitter
Since their promotion into the I-League in season 2008-09, which was a year after the club was formed and became the second division champions, Mumbai FC have not won any major tournaments leaving aside the Mumbai Elite Division in the 2010-11 term.
While it has to be noted that the Essel backed team did not face the drop since their arrival to Indian football's top flight, team manager Henry Picardo believes that not playing on their home turf at Cooperage Stadium has affected their fortunes by a long mile.
"We (Mumbai FC) were just analysing last year's performance and had we played at the Cooperage, it would have been different. We could have finished in the top three, but that's part and parcel of football. We take it as it comes," he told GOAL.
|MFC head coach Khalid Jamil's quotes in the same context may also be recalled after facing Sporting Clube de Goa in their last match of season 2012-13: "We have been playing all our games away [last season]. When we play at our home ground [at Cooperage], then we can think about winning the title."|
The team has presently assembled in Mumbai and awaits Jamil, who is attending the Pro-License course under the tutoring of Indian national team coah Wim Koevermans that concludes on 28 July.
"We are waiting for our coach (Khalid Jamil) to finish his Pro-License course. Once he comes, we are going to hit the field. We have started training in the gymnasium for the last five days. Because of the rains, we cannot take the boys on the field right now," informed Picardo.
While the club's transfer dealings have also hit a stall and Haroon Fakruddin Amiri is the only foreigner retained from the last gone season, Mumbai FC is hoping to re-sign Ghanaian striker Yusif Yakubu.
"Signings have been put on hold. We have completed our set for the core team and we only have to fill in with some players. As of now, we got the team that we require. We are waiting for the foreigners. We are in talks with a lot of players and Yakubu also, but he will only decide after Ramadan," Picardo confirmed.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.