KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan’s new coach Kibu Vicuna Thursday stressed on team building as the Spanish took charge of the former I-League champions.
The Mariners had a forgettable I-League last season, losing to arch-rivals East Bengal twice before ending their campaign with a disappointing fifth-place finish.
“I’m very happy to be here and with the team. We need a little bit of time to know each other and build a strong team,” the 47-year-old said here.
Mohun Bagan will begin their pre-season practice at the club ground from July 1 amid confusion over the future of the I-League.
“At this moment, my focus is only on team building. We want to start working with the team to build a very good team. The field looked fine. I’m excited to get going,” the UEFA Pro-Licence holder said.
Vicuna, who coached Poland first division side ‘Ekstraklasa’ previously, is busy taking inputs from the club here and is also watching videos of Indian players to prepare himself for his new assignment.
Vicuna has roped in Tomasz Tchorz as his assistant. The duo had worked together at Wisla Plock in Poland. Ranjan Chowdhury will be Vicuna’s second deputy.
The Mariners have retained eight players — Shankar Roy, Arijit Bagui, Sukhdev Singh, Bikramjit Singh, Gurjinder Kumar, Shilton D’Silva, Britto P M and Azharuddin Mallick.
Vicuna’s first challenge will be the Calcutta Football League where Bagan ended arch-rivals East Bengal’s dominance to win the title after eight years.
“We are going to prepare for Calcutta Football League as best as possible. We have to be ready to face everything. We are a professional team and we have to be prepared,” he said.
On the much-anticipated derby against East Bengal, Vicuna said: “Yes, I have heard about it. In Poland also I have seen the rivalry between Legia Waraw and Polonia Warszawa, Lech Poznan and Polonia Warszawa. In all countries there are a lot of football rivalries.”