Not many footballers have had the opportunity to play for clubs in Mumbai, Goa and Kolkata by the age of 22 but Mumbai-born Collin Abranches is set to achieve the same as he has joined Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting after spells at Air India and Salgaocar previously.
Considering Mohammedan Sporting’s enormous fanbase, Collin would probably be playing in front of more fans in training sessions than what he experienced during home matches for his previous two clubs and the youngster is looking forward to the challenge.
“Mohammedan Sporting is a good opportunity for me. It was good to get an offer from them and its Kolkata after all which is known for its fans. The expectations from supporters will be something new for me but I am looking forward to it,” Collin told Sportskeeda in an exclusive chat.
Although, Mohammedan Sporting are newly promoted, with this being their first season in the top flight since 2009, they have signed four foreigners who are highly experienced in Indian football – Luciano Sobrosa, Penn Orji, Josimar and Tolgay Ozbey.
Collin, whose move to Mohammedan Sporting was facilitated by Kolkata-based sports management company High Life Management, believes his new club has the best set of foreigners in the I-League and thus is confident of a title challenge.
“We are a newly promoted team but we can challenge for the title. Even at Air India, the first aim wasn’t to save relegation, you always want to win the cup and here at Mohammedan Sporting, we have the best set of foreigners in India with two of them being my former teammates and friends. We are going to focus on winning every competition,” Collin stated.
The two teammates that Collin was referring to is the Brazilian duo of Luciano and Josimar, who were with him at Salgaocar last season.
Collin’s impressive displays in his second season with Air India in 2011-12, earned him a move to Salgaocar but following the departure of coach Karim Bencherifa to Mohun Bagan after the first few weeks of the 2012-13 I-League, the left-back found it difficult to get first-team opportunities at the Goan club.
“I decided to move to Salgaocar as Karim Sir had called me personally. He is very fair and always appreciates hard work but unfortunately he left and it became difficult to become a regular player after that. Things changed completely after his exit because during his tenure I used to not play in the Goa League at all but following his departure I was mostly playing in the local league only.
“It became difficult and it was quite unfair to be honest. However at least I could help my team win the Goa League and it did give me some satisfaction,” he stated.