Lajong aim for top six finish

Shillong, Oct. 4: Shillong Lajong FC, the only outfit from the seven sisters to feature in the I-League, is looking to finish in the top six in the 2012-13 season, which kicks off on Saturday.

The Shillong team will face Calcutta giants Mohun Bagan at the Jawaharlal Nehru sports complex here in its first match of the season on Saturday afternoon.

Lajong head coach Desmond Bulpin, who took over earlier this year from Pradhyum Reddy, exuded confidence that his side would finish in the top six in the I-League.

In the previous season (2011-12), Lajong finished in the 10th spot with 27 points.

"We will work hard towards securing a place at least in the top six," Bulpin told The Telegraph today after the team unveiled two new players.

Defenders Min Chol Son from North Korea and local lad Samuel Shadap, who was promoted to the senior team, were formally introduced this afternoon.

While Chol Son, 26, will have a one-year contract, Shadap, 20, has a four-year contract.

Lajong now has at least three local players in the senior side, which include Shadap, defender Wailadmi Passah and midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh Mawphlang.

Bulpin also said his team was working hard to ensure the players are physically fit for the season.

Lajong now has three physiotherapists to cater to the players.

"All along we had only one physiotherapist but recently we hired two more. They are working hard with the boys so the players are fit for the matches," the Lajong coach said, stressing that fitness was vital for ensuring a good run this season.

Bulpin also urged the home crowd to turn up in support for the home team.

"Crowd support is vital for the team. I, therefore, urge the fans to come out in large numbers and support Lajong," he added.