Churchill Brothers can triumph in I-League, need fan support: Alemao | Goa News – Times of India

Panaji: Churchill Brothers FC are confident of making it to the top in the I-League but believe support from fans for their home games at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim will play a major role.
Churchill Bros have won two I-League trophies in the past with Odafa Okolie helping them to their first title in 2008-09, and then the trio of Sunil Chhetri, Roberto Mendes da Silva (Beto) and Henri Antchouet were at the heart of their second triumph in 2012-13.
Since then Churchill have not tasted the title, but with a side that now has quality foreigners and some promising domestic players, club owner Churchill Alemao is confident that they can end the wait.
“We have a team as good as anyone else,” Alemao said on Sunday. “The players are hungry for success and I am sure that we can be champions. But we need support from the fans. It’s crucial.”
Churchill will take on Rajasthan United in their opening match of this season’s I-League at Bambolim on Tuesday. Rajasthan, interestingly, defeated Churchill in tiebreaker to win the Baji Rout Cup in Odisha last week.
“I have no doubt that we are a better side,” said Alemao.
Churchill are playing their home games at Bambolim for the first time. For many years, the club played all their home matches at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, while some seasons have been spent at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco.
Bambolim, though, has hosted league games in the past when Indian Arrows made the venue their home.
Churchill have signed new foreign players this season with only centre-back Momo Cisse surviving the axe.
Spanish attacking midfielder Tana has experience of playing in LaLiga, while Manuel Cordero, formerly of Sevilla Youth Academy, has also shown promise.
Senegal forward Abdoulaye Sane has been among the goals and Iranian winger Milad Pakparvar completes the foreign player lineup.
Among domestic players, Churchill have completed the signing of goalkeeper Albino Gomes, who was with Kerala Blasters for the last two seasons. He has also represented Odisha FC, Delhi Dynamos and Mumbai City in the Indian Super League (ISL).
“Albino will add to our strengths. He is a good goalkeeper,” said Alemao.
Albino was Kerala Blasters’ first-choice goalkeeper last season until an injury saw him surrender his place between the sticks to Prabhsukhan Singh Gill. He recovered from his injury and trained with FC Goa during pre-season a couple of months ago.



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