Kolkata, July 17 (IANS) East Bengal's newly appointed head coach Khalid Jamil was surprised at large crowds pouring in to watch the first practice session of the season at the club ground here on Monday.
Hundreds of supporters turned up to see their boys in red and gold train here ahead of the Calcutta Football League (CFL) games.
"I have never seen such crowds for a practice session. In Mumbai, it was nowhere close. This is encouraging for the boys and gives us extra motivation to do well," Jamil told reporters at the end of practice session.
Jamil was with now-relegated Mumbai FC for a period of seven years before joining Aizawl FC and helping the club script a fairytale season where to everybody's disbelief they won the league title.
The 40-year-old former India midfielder took over East Bengal from Trevor Morgan, who had a poor second spell in charge of the club.
"I am not thinking about the I-League at the moment. My focus is on the first CFL game. We have experienced players like Arnab (Mondal) and (Md) Rafique and I will be banking on them to deliver the goods," Jamil added.