New head coach of football giants Mohun Bagan, Jose Antonio “Kibu” Vicuna, said he wants the supporters of the club to be proud of the team at the end of the season, stressing that team building will be top of the agenda for the time being.
Former I-League champions Mohun Bagan had a below par season last year, losing to arch-rivals East Bengal twice and finishing their campaign with a disappointing fifth place finish. Vicuna arrived on Thursday morning.
“I want to start working with the team on July 1. I am very happy to be in Kolkata,” the 47-year-old Spaniard said in a video message shared on Twitter by the club.
Mohun Bagan will begin their pre-season from from July 1 at the club ground.
“I very happy with the team. I will want to know the players better, because it’s not the same watching video and interacting in person. We have to build a strong team. We have to start working.
“The ground feel is very good. I want the supporters to be proud of the team this season,” Vicuna said.
Vicuna joined Mohun Bagan from Wisla Plock, a first division Polish club, taking over from Khalid Jamil who was in charge of the green and maroon brigade until last season.
Mohun Bagan were looking for a foreign coach after finishing fifth last season with 29 points from 20 games.
Shankarlal Chakraborty was at the helm from the start but after a string of poor results, he was replaced by I-League winning coach Jamil.
Vicuna has won the Polish League and the Polish Cup in 2012-13 as part of Legia Warsaw’s coaching staff. In 2015-16, he won the Polish Super Cup as part of the Lech Poznan coaching staff.
The green and maroon brigade have so far retained eight players — Shankar Roy, Arijit Bagui, Sukhdev Singh, Bikramjit Singh, Gurjinder Kumar, Shilton D’Silva, Britto PM and Azharuddin Mallick.
Mohun Bagan will take part in the Calcutta Football League which will be Vicuna’s first real test.
Mohun Bagan ended East Bengal’s dominance to win the title after eight years last term.
“We are going to prepare for Calcutta Football League in the best possible manner. We have to be ready to face everything. We are a professional team and we have to be prepared,” he said.
On the derby he said: “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.”