Steve Coppell, the new Head Coach of ATK along with Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Gerson Vieira were all in attendance for the ISL Media Day held in Kolkata. After a disappointing last season, ATK would be looking up to the likes of former Jamshedpur FC coach Steve Coppell to bring glory to Kolkata this season.
On his views about the football in Kolkata, Steve Coppell said “Obviously I have been to Kolkata many times in the past and suffered occasionally in the hands of the football teams so I know how passionate the support for the football is in Kolkata. It is one area in India which has a rich history and heritage of football. It really is a place to which any English football person can relate too. It has been a really nice experience so far. Although it’s been only a week since we have been here we are all really looking forward to our first game which is seven days from now.”
After missing a chunk of last season due to an ACL injury against team Kerala Blasters, Eugeneson Lyngdoh spoke about his recovery and his goals for this season, “After signing for ATK last season I was really looking forward to play in Kolkata but after two games I got injured with a long-term injury which meant I was sidelined for almost the entire season. So things I wanted to do i.e. to play for Kolkata couldn’t happen last season. I am looking forward to this season with the new coach.”
Gerson Vieira who was with Mumbai City FC last season spoke about his move to ATK, “One of the reasons because of which I chose ATK is because of a coach like Steve Coppell and they are the two times champions and every player wants to play in a big club and I am not different.”
Having signed every foreigner who had made a big impact in ISL the coach spoke on how his new squad is shaping up this season, “Well from my point of view I would certainly prefer to have players who have made this journey before. I think India is a unique place if you come from different parts of the World. It takes time to get used to the travel, the food and the accommodation all the factors that are involved in and around the football team. As a coach, it is comforting to know that the player is able to handle those factors so a player like that just ticks all the boxes for me. The players that we have signed have been here before so we know that the players are strong enough mentally and hopefully it will pay us off at the end of the season.”
The two-time champions had a disappointing campaign last season and having made a lot of managerial changes last season Steve Coppell spoke about the pressure on him this season, “With just seven days left for the start of the season. I think every coach has the equal amount of pressure. One has anticipation, anxiety and we want our team to do well. So I think in terms of pressure we are all feeling the same at the moment. Being a coach of the two-time champions there is no added pressure.”
Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Gerson Vieira signed off the Media Day for the ATK by speaking about their preseason campaign. Eugeneson said, “The pre-season has been a really great experience, playing teams of different calibres. Playing against a team like Fulham tested us, showed the strength of our team and the coaching idea of what was expected of us got to us. We would be replicating what we did in the preseason in the league and get better and better. Gerson said, “For me, preseason is all about knowing each other. We as a team had really good sessions there and we got in shape and perfectly prepared for the season.”