East Bengal assistant coach Hackett surprised by turnout at practice

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Kolkata, Dec 30 (IANS) On his first day at training at the East Bengal football club ground on Friday, just appointed assistant coach Warren Hackett was taken aback by the number of supporters who had turned up to watch the city giants train.

“It’s nice to see supporters supporting the team in training. That doesn’t always happen in England,” Hackett, part of English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur’s 1990 FA Youth Cup winning side, told reporters here.

“(Fans attending training sessions happens) with the bigger clubs yes but not with the smaller clubs. So I understand East Bengal is one of the bigger clubs in India,” the Londoner said.

More than 100 faithfuls from different parts of Bengal as well as the city thronged the club ground to get a glimpse of their team.

On his reason for choosing India, Hackett said, “Trevor (Morgan, East Bengal head coach) invited me to come over. So I decided to take up the opportunity.

“I want to go one step further with Trevor and be successful here. He has done well here previously and he is a very good friend of mine,” Hackett said on his association with Morgan and his ambitions here.

Hackett said this will be the first time he would be collaborating with Morgan in the capacity of assistant coach but they have always had the same ideas.

“This will be the first time I will be working with Trevor as a coach. But football is the same game and we have got the same sort of ideas,” said Hackett, a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) licensed coach.

Critical of the training pitch at the club ground, Hackett, 45, said the red and gold brigade have a good set of players who would be better on a better turf.

“From the first look of things, we have got some really good players playing on a difficult surface. On a nice pitch, they’ll be even better.”

East Bengal take on Aizawl FC at home on January 7, the opening day of the 10th I-League.

–IANS

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