Sunday, February 25, 2024

Mamunul leaves for Kolkata with high hopes

Bangladesh national team captain Mamunul Islam left Dhaka for India on Wednesday to join Atletico De Kolkata for the inaugural Indian Sup0er League, scheduled to start from October 12. Mamunul’s Atletico will host Mumbai City FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in the very first day of the tournament. The Kolkata-based franchise, which is co-owned by reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, signed a three-month deal with Mamunul on September 6 in Dhaka.
‘This is a very challenging tour for me,’ Mamunul told New Age over the phone before his departure.
‘I’m going there to represent my country and my first target will be to get a place in the playing XI,’ said the midfielder. ‘If I can do that, I will try to give my best to make my country proud,’ said a confident Mamunul.
Mamunul is the first Bangladeshi footballer to play in Indian domestic football league in years after defender Monem Munna, forward Sheikh Mohammed Aslam and stopper-back Kayser Hamid.
‘Munna bhai, Aslam bhai, Kayser bhai played in the Kolkata League, but I’m going for a league where many European footballers will play. I will have to prove my worth competing with them,’ said Mamunul.
Mamunul said that he is carrying some inspirational words from national coach Lodewijk De Kruif, who hopes that the player will gain some valuable experience by playing with European players.
‘Coach [De Kruif] said that I will gather a lot of experience there which I can share with my national team-mates here,’ said Mamunul, who is expected to lead Bangladesh in the upcoming two-match series against Sri Lanka later this month.
Bangladesh will host Sri Lanka on October 24 and 27 in Jessore and Rajshahi. Atletico De Kolkata has matches scheduled on October 23 and 27, which made the national skipper uncertain for the games.
‘I will try to get permission to play in the two matches against Sri Lanka,’ said Mamunul adding that, ‘I always give the importance to my country first but I don’t know whether the club will allow me or not.’
Meanwhile, Atletico De Kolkata returned to Kolkata from Madrid on September 27 after spending a one-month long training camp held at the main facilities of Atletico Madrid.
The club started the final camp in Kolkata on September 29.
‘I don’t think it’s a big deal that I skipped the main camp, because there is still time left to get adjusted with the team,’ said a hopeful Mamunul.

-With New Age input

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