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Super Cup 2018: Time for Cameron Watson to prove himself against Bengaluru FC

06:17 GMT+3 15/04/2018
Cameron Watson Bengaluru FC Johor Darul Tazim AFC Cup semifinal
Mohun Bagan's Australian midfielder will be going up against his former side in the semi-finals of the Super Cup.....

Come Tuesday and it will be a chance for Cameron Watson to test his mettle against his former employers in the semi-finals of the inaugural Super Cup.

The Australian midfielder is currently undergoing his second stint in Indian football with Mohun Bagan having joined the club in December last year. The FC Porto youth graduate's introduction to Indian football came in the I-League with Bengaluru FC in 2016.

Having played the majority of his career with Adelaide United in the Australian A-League, the 30-year-old was roped in by Albert Roca ahead of the 2016-17 I-League season. It wasn’t the best of league campaigns for the defending champions as they could only manage a fourth-place finish after a late resurgence.

While their fortunes in the league remain mixed, Bengaluru made up for that disappointment with a Federation Cup win along with a march all the way to the finals of the continental AFC Cup.

In both those tournaments, Watson played an integral part for the Blues. His most vital contribution came in the semi-finals of the Federation Cup against Khalid Jamil’s Aizawl FC where his eighth-minute spot-kick sealed a place in the finals for the JSW-owned side.

Unfortunately for the Australian, he earned an automatic suspension for the final of the competition where his team-mates were crowned champions after a victory over his current employers Mohun Bagan.

Less than two months later, Bengaluru were announcing the departure of Watson to Indonesian outfit Madura United. Soon, Watson's compatriot Erik Paartalu would be taking his place in midfield for Roca’s men as Bengaluru said goodbye to the I-League for the riches of the Indian Super League (ISL).

As fate would have it, Watson was given a second lease of life in Indian football after his compatriot Diogo Ferreira parted ways with Mohun Bagan without playing a single game for the Kolkata giants.

Since then, the midfielder has made 11 appearances for the Mariners in the I-League as they finished third. His arrival has lent a lot of stability to the Mohun Bagan midfield as the season has wore on.

A regular starter for Sankarlal Chakrabarty, Watson has gone on to establish himself as a pillar for the Green and Maroons. He might not be the quickest across the pitch as has been pointed out by his own coach but there is no doubting Watson’s industry.

A tireless workhorse, Watson would never have imagined coming face-to-face with his former club after joining Mohun Bagan given Bengaluru’s switch to the ISL. But the inaugural Super Cup has given him a chance to prove a point against Bengaluru FC.

With four teams left standing in the competition, it will once again be a battle between I-League and ISL outfits in the two semi-finals. The competition has proved so far that there is not much to differentiate in the standard of football in India’s two major leagues save the overseas players.

And it is here that Watson will need to stand up to be counted. His compatriot Paartalu has added another dimension to the Bengaluru midfield, giving them the added advantage in set pieces with his imposing physique.

As he comes up against his former club on Tuesday, there will be no better chance for Watson to show what he brings to the party. It is an opportunity for the Australian to remind Roca and his men about what they let go off last summer and it is one he will be desperate to grab with both hands.