Former ATK assistant Bastab Roy was named as the new head coach of East Bengal last Friday. He would have to work in tandem with technical director Subhash Bhowmick. It is well-known that Bhowmick is the captain of the ship and even Roy's recruitment as the head coach was carried out at the behest of the ASEAN Club Cup-winning coach.
When Roy was quizzed about his role at EastBengal, he chose to beat around the bush and finally ducked the question.
"The job a coach remains the same. It does not change with change of clubs. I am joining as a Chief coach but have to work together with Bhowmick da (elder brother). I joined East Bengal because personally, I am on very good terms with Bhowmick da. At the end of the day, Assistant coach and head coach are two different designations. To get an offer from a club like East Bengal is a one time opportunity. You have to take risks to be successful.
"Football is a team game. We will discuss together and chalk out a strategy for the team. As far as my role is concerned, let it remain between me and Bhowmick da. Team's suceess is paramount for both us," said a cautious Roy to Goal.
He chose not to give clarity on his role and went to harp on the pressure factor at the two Kolkata giants.
"I have played for around 20 years in this Kolkata Maidan. I know the pressure of joining a big club. Both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are result oriented. There is no time relax. If East Bengal and Mohun Bagan participate in a local tournament, then also there is pressure," said Roy.
Although East Bengal handed out a player's list with the names who are set to join the club next season, it was later found out that some players on the list would not be available. Roy again dodged when questioned about the areas he thinks to be strengthened.
"I am yet to sit with Bhowmick da to discuss the team. We will start with these activities from next week onwards," stated a careful Roy.
The former Mohun Bagan player reveals that he pursued his coaching licenses just because he had a knack of learning the game better.
"I always had the knack to study football. When I appeared for the licensing examinations, I took them because I enjoyed them. I did not do thinking about future profits. And educating yourself will always help yourself to improve," reasoned Roy.
But the coach finally revealed that he wants to work independently and would seriously consider any offer after his stint with the Red and Golds.
"I came to East Bengal just because I wanted to work with Bhowmick da. If I take up any other assignment after this, that profile will be of an independent coach. But let's not talk about the future and concentrate on the present," said Roy hastily before signing off.