East Bengal U-15 will play to win in MUPC finals

Insisting that his wards are not flying to England just to make up the numbers, coach of India's East Bengal U-15 team Swarup Das asserted that the squad would leave its mark in the Nike Manchester United Premier Cup world finals in Manchester from 1-4 August. "Traditionally, East Bengal has always played to win but you have to consider the stage. MUPC would be a conglomeration of world's top 20 U-15 teams, including hosts Manchester United, Barcelona, Roma, Everton and Sao Paolo clubs. But we are not going to be an also-ran there. It's a great platform and East Bengal will leave its mark on the elite competition. The boys understand that they are now going to play at a level where people hardly have any idea about Indian soccer and they are fully aware of their responsibilities," he told PTI.

Captained by Ganesh Dey, East Bengal finished second in the South East Asian region to book their World Finals berth and Das said his side will give others a good run for their money in Manchester. "They had not played on synthetic turf before and still came back from behind to finish second in Singapore. That made the boys believe in their skills and I won't be surprised if we pull off a few surprises in Manchester." Asked what made him so optimistic, Das, a former India international, said, "You would be amazed to know that we have a few players who can fit into any position in the side."