• Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

Speed, skill & spirit: Aizawl FC head coach Standly Rozario promises attacking football in new season

Aizawl FC’s historic Hero I-League 2016-17 triumph will always remain a memorable moment for football fans in the country, and the club is all set to make a splash in the forthcoming 2022-23 season. The Reds have assembled a competitive squad consisting of experienced Mizo players such as Lalchhawnkima, Zodingliana Ralte, and Lalchhanhima Sailo, along with a bunch of exciting youngsters. The club have also roped in quality foreign names such as prolific scorer Henry Kisekka and midfielder Matias Veron, who will have a key role to play in the coming campaign.

Taking charge as head coach is H Standly Rozario, who returns for what will be his third season with the side. In a candid chat with www.i-league.org, he spoke about his team’s preparations and objectives for the season, their focus on promoting local talent, and their passionate fans, among other things. EXCERPTS:

Q. How have your preparations been going on for the new season?

A. We started our pre-season training in August and I strongly feel that our preparation has been excellent. We have a lot of young and talented players, with whom we have tried out different formations and combinations, and they have adapted to them really well.

After nine rounds, we are at the top of the points table in the Mizoram Premier League too, where the level of competition is very high and tough. The players are in good shape and ready for the I-League campaign.

Q. Aizawl FC are renowned for promoting young players from Mizoram and churning out talent. Can we expect more of the same in the coming season? What are your thoughts on the young Mizo players in the team?

A. Aizawl FC is the biggest platform for youngsters from the state to make a name for themselves and one of the club’s biggest objectives is the promotion of local players. Mizoram is rich in footballing talent and offers a pathway to promising players right from the youth level to the senior national team.

We have a bright squad filled with talented players, who are abundant in speed, skill, and fighting spirit. They are honest and truthful on the pitch and have adapted really well to the attacking brand of football we want to play as their natural ability allows them to do so. Playing in the MPL has also helped them earn valuable experience.

Q. The team has five foreign players in the squad as well. What role will they have to play?

A. Our foreign signings have been gelling together well with the Indian players, and look in good shape. I am confident that someone like Henry Kisekka will be an inspiration for the team’s youngsters and he is working really hard. I expect him to score a lot of goals this season. We also have Argentine Matias Veron, who has played under me previously as well, and thus understands my philosophy and knows Indian football.

We have three more foreigners, two Japanese and one Nigerian, who are fresh faces and will be hungry to prove themselves. I am sure they will give their best and help the team achieve success.

Q. After two years, Aizawl FC will finally get to play Hero I-League matches in front of the fans. How much are you looking forward to having them?

A. Aizawl FC is called the People’s Club and we have the most amazing fans supporting us. The love and passion they shower are immense. I am certain that their presence will make for an electrifying atmosphere in all of our home games and serve as a great motivation for our players to perform, especially since we are a young team.

I sincerely request them to join us at the stadium and become our 12th man, and we will leave no stone unturned in giving our maximum effort on the pitch and making them proud.

Q. What are your expectations and objectives for the coming season?

A. Everything is possible in football and life, and I believe that we are a team that can beat anybody on our day. The players are working really hard, giving their 100 percent, and the mood is really positive.

Our aim is to get off to a good start and achieve a positive result in each game we play. We hope to finish at the top of the league standings and are determined to give our best for it.

Source: AIFF

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