Bengaluru FC B are all set to kick-off their campaign in the 2019-20 edition of the Hero 2nd Division League, as they take on Chennaiyin FC B in the opener, at the SSN Ground in Chennai, on Monday.
Coached by Naushad Moosa, the Blue Colts who are placed in Group B in the preliminary stage will be playing eight games over the course of two months against Hyderabad FC B, Bhawanipore FC and giants Mohammedan Sporting Club apart from Chennaiyin FC B in a round-robin format.
Going into his third campaign in the 2nd Division with the Blues, Coach Moosa expects a tougher challenge this time around given the youth in the squad. “After winning the BDFA Super Division League, the young players in our squad have got the confidence. They feel positive and the belief that they can achieve their goals by sticking together as a team is there. With the Elite League going on simultaneously as well, we’ve got enough matches to be ready for these games. We need to stay focused on our philosophy as we face new teams,” said Moosa who travelled straight to Chennai with the team after playing an Elite League game in Sriperumbudur on Friday.
Having finished top of the group in the 2018-19 edition of the competition, Moosa believes it’s important to focus on quality football rather than aiming to match past results. “We have set certain standards at BFC with our performances, and whatever competition we play, we aim to give our best and play the best possible football. It’s always important to stay focused and act professionally towards individual development and the players know their roles and responsibilities well. As a coach, it’s my responsibility to see that our young squad doesn’t get pressurized by chasing results. Our aim at this level is to play good free-flowing football, and once you do that, results will follow,” he added.
With reserve sides of fellow ISL clubs, along with some top teams from Kolkata in the group, the youngsters will be tested thoroughly in this campaign. Although qualification to the final phase isn’t available due to competition rules, Moosa believes playing teams with different tactics will benefit in the growth of the players. “Chennaiyin FC is coached by the experienced Santosh Kashyap while the likes of Mohammedan and Bhawanipore are big names in Kolkata. But the way I see it, it’s good to have tough opponents and play competitive games, because at this age, getting such games will help the boys grow tremendously. Although we are aware that we don’t qualify for the next round, we must stay serious and professional, while giving a good fight in each and every game.”
The Blue Colts who play the first four games away will host all their home games at the Bengaluru Football Stadium in late February and March.
Fixtures: Group B
Round 1 – January 27 – Chennaiyin FC B vs Bengaluru FC B at SSN Ground, Chennai – 2.00 pm
Round 2 – TBA – Mohammedan SC B vs Bengaluru FC B
Round 3 – TBA – Bhawanipore FC vs Bengaluru FC B
Round 4 – February 22 – Hyderabad FC B vs Bengaluru FC B at Gachibowli Stadium, Hyderabad – 2.00 pm
Round 5 – February 29 – Bengaluru FC B vs Hyderabad FC B at Bengaluru Football Stadium – 2.00 pm
Round 6 – March 05 – Bengaluru FC B vs Mohammedan SC at Bengaluru Football Stadium – 2.00 pm
Round 7 – March 15 – Bengaluru FC B vs Bhawanipore FC at Bengaluru Football Stadium – 2.00 pm
Round 8 – March 25 – Bengaluru FC B vs Chennaiyin FC B at Bengaluru Football Stadium – 2.00 pm