I-League 2017/18: Mohun Bagan's Sony Norde rues Yusa Katsumi's decision to join East Bengal
What's the story?
After all the confusion, the new season of I-League is about to start in few days time. Last year's runners-up Mohun Bagan will be taking on Minerva Punjab in the opening game of the new season. 28-year-old Haitian International, Sony Norde, was appointed as the captain for the Mariners ahead of the upcoming season of I-League.
However, the Mohun Bagan captain is not exactly happy with the fact that his predecessor Katsumi Yusa has made the switch across town to arch-rivals East Bengal.
In case you didn't know
With the I-League and the Indian Super League being conducted simultaneously from this season onwards, there has been a large number of transfers. Mohun Bagan also had their fair share of these transfers, losing their star players, which includes Japanese midfielder and former captain Katsumi.
The heart of the matter
The 28-years-old Mariners' captain Sony Norde shared his frustration on Mohun Bagan losing their star player from the team for the upcoming season. Sony Norde said that it was a "bad decision" to let Katsumi go to their arch-rivals East Bengal.
"It is very unfortunate for us that Katsumi joined East Bengal. He was one of the most consistent players for us in the past three seasons. For me, it was a bad decision to release Katsumi," Sony said to Goal.com.
Katsumi was an integral part of the Mohun Bagan team. The Mariners face East Bengal in the Kolkata Derby on 3rd December and the captain feels that Mohun Bagan are not yet ready to face their arch-rivals.
The Haitian, who replaces replaces Katsumi at the captain, says "It's not about pressure anymore. But yes, I am the captain of my team, so I have added responsibility to organise my team. I will definitely try to score in every game as that will ensure a win for Mohun Bagan."
Mohun Bagan had lost two preseason games against ISL clubs FC Pune City and FC Goa, but Sony Norde does not want to take it into account as the preseason only meant game-time for all the players. Norde hopes that they will get a winning start against newcomers Minerva Punjab, bagging all the three points.
Losing Katsumi to their rivals is a huge blow to the Mariners, as they have lost one of their key players. Sony Norde will have big shoes to fill, as he replaces the Japanese midfielder, and his charterer will be put to the test as they have a derby waiting on December 3rd.