New Delhi, Sep 21 (UNI) In a bid to raise its profile in the local league, struggling city football club Hindustan FC has roped in the services of former Mohun Bagan coach Bernard Oparanozie.
Bernard's appointment as coach was formally announced today and the Nigerian laid out his plans to raise the sagging fortunes of the club which has not been doing well in the local league for some years.
Bernard, who was at the helms of Mohun Bagan for a brief stint but saw the Kolkata giants winning last season's Super Cup, was at pains to explain why he decided to take up the job to coach an unheralded side.
''Its a definite challenge, but I have young boys who can perform well. I am taking one step at a time. Delhi football league is the first step, reaching NFL the next,'' said the Nigerian, who has rubbed shoulders with who is who of Indian football from Chima Okorie, IM Vijayan to Baichung Bhutia in his playing days.
Hindustan FC has made grand plans for spreading the game in the city and in the country. Its vice-president DK Bose said the club has established an academy and has shortlisted players to be trained there.
''We are going ahead in our plan to establish an academy, which will give Delhi at least 10 top footballers within a span of five years,'' he told UNI.
Lamenting on the present trend where anyone can open an academy and charge exorbiant amount of money, Bose said, ''At present there are lots of academies which talks of providing exposure to the players and charge lump sum amount.
''We will not do that. We will be charging only a meagre amount for that, as we have tied up with two sponsors for a period of five years,'' he said.
Bose said the academy will be formally launched in a couple of months.
He also informed that his club has raised a women's team comprising mainly Delhi University college students.