Habas: Mohun Bagan’s history and ATK’s energy is the perfect combination

Two-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) winning head coach, Antonio Lopez Habas expects a good future for ATK Mohun Bagan FC after the merger between ATK and Mohun Bagan was confirmed last week. The Spanish head coach believes that retaining Mohun Bagan’s iconic maroon and green colours adds 131 years of history to the club.

“I have good feelings for the future. I think the merger is right and the shirt colour adds history to it, lots of it,” Habas, who is the most successful coach in the league’s history, having lifted the coveted title twice and will be in-charge of ATK Mohun Bagan for the seventh Hero ISL season, told IANS.

The Spaniard also made it clear that he wants to take advantage of Mohun Bagan’s rich history as well as ATK’s youth and energy. “We have to take advantage of the history and experience of Mohun Bagan and the youth and energy of ATK. They have great fans, a deep history and they are a good team too,” Habas said.

While discussing how to improve Indian football, Habas advocated better training with qualified coaches and the use of academies. “The most important thing which will help football in India is that players are well trained and that (they) work at the academies with qualified coaches (who) are prioritized,” he said.

As far as the upcoming Hero ISL campaign is concerned, Habas admitted that he’s looking forward to seeing the club’s fans even though it’s not a likely to happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced sports to be played behind closed doors and without supporters.

"We will follow the ISL rules and do the best for the health of fans and professionals. The main thing is that COVID-19 is extinct. I am looking forward to seeing our fans. Mohun Bagan has a rich history and huge fan following," Habas concluded.

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