Scott Neville pays tribute to ‘passionate’ SC East Bengal fans

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Kolkata giants SC East Bengal will finally make their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) debut in the 2020-21 season but fans will be unable to witness their favourite club play from the stadium due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Defender Scott Neville, on loan from Australian side Brisbane Roar, understands the importance of the presence of fans, all the more so since they open their campaign against ATK Mohun Bagan in what will be the first Kolkata derby in the history of Hero ISL.  

“I know the rich history that goes into that game and I believe that the crowds that would be at that game if they're allowed would have been sensational. We've got some really passionate fans and all the players are grateful that we have that support.

“We're looking forward to playing again. They've got a few Australians in that team as well so I'm aware of those players and it'll be a good test for us in the first match,” Neville told indiansuperleague.com on SC East Bengal’s club day on Monday.

Neville joins the Hero ISL after a strong campaign in Australia with Brisbane Roar, where he played under Robbie Fowler, who is now the head coach at SC East Bengal. Speaking about the legendary Englishman, the Aussie said, “I was coached by Robbie last season in Brisbane so it was good for me to get back and play under Robbie again. I love the style of football that he plays and you can see that we're really working hard and trying to implement the way that he wants us to play.”

Scott was joined by his teammate Matti Steinmann, who also played the last season in the A-League with Wellington Phoenix. “I'm very excited for this, this new challenge. It's very exciting for me as well. This is the first time playing in the Hero Indian Super League. So I can't wait to get started. From the very beginning, it’s going to be very intense. We're trying to give our best in the next few weeks,” the German midfielder said about the upcoming season.

“I got loads of messages from the fans and we appreciate it. And it's awesome to know that the fans are supporting us, even though they cannot watch us play in the stadium. Playing in front of all the fans would have been exciting. It's not a nice scenario but you have to adapt to that to make us as successful as possible,” he added.

The highly-anticipated Kolkata Derby is set to take place on November 27 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco.

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