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I-League 2017: East Bengal coach hurts himself on the first day of practice, is immediately replaced

Mridul Banerjee hurt his ankle during a practice session.

Mridul Banerjee had just been appointed the coach of East Bengal

What’s the story?

Mridul Banerjee, the former Mohammedan SC coach who was appointed as the new manager of East Bengal a couple of days ago, sustained an injury to his left foot while overseeing his first practice session with the players yesterday.

Manoranjan Bhattacharya, a member of the club’s technical committee, while speaking to leading Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika said,”Mridul has suffered a very serious injury. It is impossible to tell when he can return.”

In case you didn’t know...

After four defeats on the trot which saw their hopes of winning the I-League title go up in smoke once again, Trevor James Morgan handed in his resignation to the club officials last Monday. The Red and Gold brigade appointed Banerjee, who coached the Santosh Trophy winning Bengal side, the very next day. He was to be in charge of the squad for the remainder of the league season and also for the Federation Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Cuttack in May.

The heart of the matter

While taking part in his first training session yesterday, Mridul was demonstrating some drills to his charges. While showing Wedson Anselme and Willis Plaza how to turn swiftly with the ball, he twisted his ankle and fell over it.

Also read: Mridul Banerjee crestfallen after injury forces him to relinquish East Bengal job, Ranjan Chowdhury steps in

The players immediately came rushing to the assistance of their manager and took him to the cafeteria along with the physiotherapist. He was taken for an MRI scan, which revealed that he had torn his ankle ligament and would be out of commission for at least four to six weeks.

What’s next?

Having received the unfortunate news, officials at East Bengal immediately got together to discuss feasible candidates for the role of the interim manager. The name of Ranjan Chaudhuri was finalised in the meeting. Having worked as the assistant manager for a considerable time, he knows the flaws of the squad better than most people and is expected to get the best out of them.

The Kolkata giants take on Minerva Punjab next, and Chaudhuri will be leading his team out for the game on Sunday.

Author’s Take

It will be interesting to see if Chaudhuri can cope with the strains of a full-time manager or not, and whether he can salvage the season for the team from Bengal and also whether East Bengal reappoints Mridul Banerjee once he regains full fitness. We hope he recovers as soon as possible and is able to put this tragic episode behind him.

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