Defending champions Mumbai City FC face off against FC Goa in a blockbuster opening encounter for both teams in ISL 2021-22. A very excited Des Buckingham along with captain Mourtada Fall addressed the media ahead of their first game of the ISL 2021-22 campaign.
There are a lot of expectations on Mumbai City FC with some valuable domestic additions to their already talented pool of players. FC Goa are on the back of their Durand Cup triumph and will not be short on fitness and game time.
On team news for the clash against FC Goa, Des Buckingham said, “We have no injuries at the moment and have a full squad to choose from”.
Mourtada Fall had a great last season, leading the side at the back and scoring 4 crucial goals in MCFC’s title winning campaign. Mourtada was announced as the captain of MCFC this season and he was up for the new responsibility. “As a captain, obviously the responsibility would be more. Before, there was a responsibility to organize the defense, help teammates and win games. With the experience that some of us senior players have, we have to help young players and do our job well”.
Mumbai City FC have had a short pre-season with players arriving at different times. Des Buckingham was positive even though MCFC have had a shorter pre-season. “We have done everything we could in the time that we have had. Of course, we would like to have had more time with players on and off the field, but we have tried to make the most of the time we had. We have spent a lot of time on and off the field and the focus has always been to build and add from the playing style last year”.
Mourtada Fall is a former FC Goa player and has played 2 seasons for them. Asked on how personal it is for him to play against his former side, Fall replied, “For me, it is important like every other game. We need to start well since it is our first game of the ISL. We take every team seriously; we need to be ready and have the right mentality irrespective of the team”.
No team has ever managed to defend their title in ISL and MCFC will have a task on their hands to successfully retain their titles. “We can be satisfied with what we won last year, but it is about what we can build on from that title and continue build our club. Other clubs in the league have won more than what we have and that is our focus. If we want to build a dynasty and we need to reach the standards set by other teams in the last 7 years”.
On what to expect from Indian center backs in the side and their partnership with him, Mourtada responded, “We have talented players. We worked together in friendlies and we have players who can play with me and in defense easily. We have a good collection of Indian players”.
Even though it’s the first game for both sides, MCFC vs FCG always proves to be an entertainer. FC Goa will be looking to hit back after the semifinal loss last year against Mumbai City FC. Either ways, an enthralling encounter awaits us.
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