Defending champions Manag Marsyandi gear up for tough season

Kathmandu,Sept 28: Manag Marsyandi, the seven-time winners of Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League are preparing to defend their title. The players who have recently joined training are in a jubilant mood ahead of their opener against Brigade Boys Club next week.

In order to make sure they perform well in the league, they have hired Nigerian Tope Fuja, who previously managed Machhindra Club.

“It feels good to be back in Nepal,” adds Fuja. “I had a good time with Machhindra a few years ago and now I am looking forward to my new challenge.”

Fuja, who spent the last three years in India with Peerless Sports Club, is adamant that his boys put in extra effort in training. When attacker Anjan Bista loses the ball, he calls him and tells him to remain composed and not panic during tough situations.

“We need to be focused. To win the league we have to be the best and that is possible when we work hard in training,” shares the coach.

The mood within the team is upbeat. There is good chemistry between the team as everyone looks happy. Since the league is commencing after a gap of four years, everyone on the team is excited and wants to do well.

“Team chemistry is important that is what I’m trying to install in the team. If we play well as a team, I think we will surely be champions because we have the players” adds Fuja.

Biraj Maharjan, the captain of the club, is excited as well. After his poor showing in the recently concluded SAFF Championship, he wants to perform well in the league. “Everyone wants to be league champion, so do I and I feel we have a team that can compete with big teams like Army and Three Star,” adds the defender.

He along with other national team players like Anjan Bista, Bishal Rai and Sujal Shrestha add that the new coach has been a breath of fresh air. They say the coach gives the players a new perspective to the game.

“He’s got many years of coaching experience and I feel that his way of managing is quite modern and that is the main difference between a foreign coach and a Nepali one. They study modern football and coach us accordingly which also helps improve our,” adds Maharjan who is relieved that the league football is back in Nepal.

Fuja says he’s working on two things: fitness and passing. “The most important thing right now is getting these players back into shape. This is why I have been pushing them in training. Secondly, I want to play good football. We want to play possession-based because that way we’ll not be running needlessly and it will also help us break down opponents defence,” adds the coach.

The team also has a blend of good national and international players. One of them is Victor Amobi, who has been playing in Nepal, for the past six years and has won the league with Three Star Club. He says that the new coach has been good for the foreign players as well.

“Yes, we are all happy,” shares Amobi. “He’s made training fun for us. I think the team is well balanced too which makes us one of the favourites to win the league.”

Fuja mentions that this blend of foreign and Nepali players is what makes them a strong attacking force. “We have young players like Anjan Bista who give us speed and on the other hand, we have a player like Afeez Olawale who gives us stability and experience. And I feel that is important if we are to compete at the level,” adds Fuja.

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