• Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

“THIS YEAR DURAND IS MUCH BIGGER THAN BEFORE ”, SAYS DIPENDU BISWAS

Dipendu Biswas , former renowned striker of Indian National team, who is currently the football secretary of the I-League outfit Mohammedan Sporting Club.A graduate from the Tata Football Academy in 1996 this dedicated and passionate footballer had a vast fan following in his playing career.During 1990s, he had dominated the Indian Football and represented the country as well.In July 2020, Biswas became the football secretary of Mohammedan Sporting Club. In the 129-year history of the club, he is the first footballer who has been appointed as a football secretary.Formed in February 1891, this is one of the oldest active football clubs in the country and the runner up of the last year’s prestigious Durand Cup. 

This year Dipendu is the Team Manager of MSC in upcoming Durand.

Just Before this Glorious tournament a candid talk with Dipendu Biswas.

EXCERPTS :

This time it’s going to be a battle amongst the I-League, ISL and Army teams.What is your opinion on this?

Last year Durand Final was between I League and ISL teams. While Mohammedan SC put up an equal fight against FC Goa, Mohammedan lost the match after conceding a goal in extra time. However, in this year’s Durand Cup, all teams will enter the field with much more preparation. So this time it will be understood which team is the best ISL or I-League.

Share some precious memories of Durand Cup.

“As I feel Durand Cup  has a great contribution behind footballer Dipendu Biswas’s career. In 1995-96 I participated in the Durand Cup on behalf of  Tata Football Academy. I scored against Mohun Bagan in the semi-final that year. That match was the turning point of my football life. So from that Durand Cup I was established in Indian football. That’s why the Durand Cup is always a special tournament for me.”

In your tenure ,which was the toughest opposition you faced in the Durand Cup?

When I played Durand during my playing career, I think the toughest opponent was Tata Football Academy. And as a team manager, FC Goa seemed to be a tough opponent in the finals last year.

Durand Cup is being the season opener starting with the Kolkata Derby. So what do you think?

As the Durand Cup starts with a derby match, it will be an advantage that this Durand will conquer the minds quickly among sports lovers. So from the beginning, I think there will be extra enthusiasm for the Durand this year.

Durand Cup then and now. What’s the difference?

Earlier the Durand Cup  centered only around the city of Delhi. And this tournament used to be held in winter. But now it is spread over different states of India. So we can say that this year Durand is much bigger than before.

Durand Cup is a great platform for youngsters. Do you agree?

This is why the Durand Cup can be considered as a special platform for junior footballers. When we were in the Tata Football Academy we had chosen this tournament as the foundation of Indian football. Me, Deepak, Mahesh, Renedy we all came from this Durand and now the season is starting with this tournament. So junior footballers can prove themselves in Durand Cup and secure their place in ISL.

Any special message to the fans who will be following the tournament this season?

This year’s Durand ISL has 11 teams, 5 I-League teams and 4 Armed Forces teams. So  Durand Cup is going to be quite entertaining. Besides, being Durand of the three cities, I think the attendance will be quite large. However, as most of the matches are in Kolkata, I would like to appeal to the sports lovers of Bengal to come to the field and encourage the teams.

How has Indian football developed over the years?

Durand is being held this time with 20 teams, all teams are preparing for the tournament. So this year Durand is more competitive than ever. The more competition a tournament has, the more will be it’s progress. 

Inputs : Indian Army 

Edited by : Pratyusha Mukherjee ,Broadcast Journalist, BBC News. 

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