After span of 18 years, once again Sammy Omollo, the crafty Kenyan defender who once made an impact on the football fans in Kolkata in between 1997 and 2000, looked entering the East Bengal ground on Tuesday, wearing full dress and boots. The 45-year old Sammy Omollo, now the assistant coach of East Bengal, trains a little bit every day during the training sessions of the team. But on Tuesday, He was alone on the ground and looked tried to teach some basics to East Bengal’s most expensive footballer, Ranti Martins.

East Bengal footballers have been given rest from training till 21st September. Only Ranti Martins looked exception as he preferred to continue training under the careful observation of Omollo at the East Bengal ground. Omollo said on the occasion, “Ranti actually had problems with his fitness. He could not attend our pre-season residential training camp at Kalyani. That is why Ranti seems to have lost his touch, especially his half-turn which was his deadly weapon.” In a bid to regain the Nigerian striker’s excellent half-turn with the ball, Omollo is playing with Ranti, trying to intercept him on a one-one-on duel in the training. 

Sometimes, in the training Omollo is creating a situation where Ranti has to move forward with the ball, using his half-turn. Omollo added saying, “The main difficulty Ranti has been facing is that he is not being able to move forward or send any defense splitting passes towards his colleagues. He needs to regain the touch. So I have been conducting his fitness training also with the ball.”

However, Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen rues his foreign players’ poor show in the recently held Kolkata Premier League where Mohun Bagan, after a span of 13 years finished third. Sen has said, “I will never try to bring foreign players after only watching their old video clippings. In this process, I have been also misguided in case of Brazilian defender Gustavo Silva. It was not only me, the technical committee members of Mohun Bagan were also highly impressed to have watched Gustavo’s old video recording. But the player, after coming here, was found to have lost the minimum fitness level.” Sen was even critical of his Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa saying, “Katsumi is not a game changer like Do Dong-Hyun. If I had been at the helm of affairs in Mohun Bagan administration I would not have registered Katsumi.”

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