Kolkata: The Minerva Academy founder and the owner of Delhi FC , Ranjit Bajaj revealed to have been hoping on reliving his 2017-18 I-League moment with Minerva Punjab, all over again with Delhi FC this time.
“Definitely. That’s what we are hoping for .Fingers crossed and that’s what we are hard working hard for. ” said Bajaj exclusively to Sportslight Media on asking about his I-League goals.
With the I-League qualifiers commencing , Delhi FC are planning to keep up their string of dominating performances. Delhi FC were recommended to take part in the 2nd division I-League after topping their respective group in Delhi Senior Division League. Delhi FC will begin their I-League quest on October 7, against ARA FC from Ahmedabad.
Bajaj had tasted the I-League glory back in 2017-18 with Minerva Punjab FC, the first time for any North Indian club, in nothing but a fairytale with Yan Law, the youngest AIFF ‘A’ lincensed coach orchestrating the performance . The team had won 11 out of their 18 games, securing wins over teams like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
A very practical Yan had infact lead Delhi FC in the Durand Cup 2021 as well, where they had a fairly good run although being ousted by FC Goa in the quarterfinals.
Talking to Sportslight Media ahead of their I-League commitment on their preparations, Bajaj evoked mixed feelings while relaying that due to some ‘prior personal commitments’ , Yan would not be with the squad and the job will be taken over by the technical director Surinder Singh.
Bajaj is known to find positivity at any circumstances, a with same high positive note, talking about the coach and the squad on being asked , he said :
“So that’s a change Yan Law is not here, he had some prior commitments . The technical director of the team Surinder Singh has taken over , who is by the way the coach of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu , Sandesh Jhingan and Anirudh Thapa and is the one who is responsible for bringing them anywhere into the national fold”
“He has been a technical director when we won I- League , he has been the technical director when we won all the I-Leagues across all ages and he has taken over and he is with us right now.” said Bajaj taking about 2018, when Minerva won the trophies across all age groups.
“I think under him the boys are really very confident and they have gotten this fresh zeal of life. ”
” Yes we did really well in the Durand cup but we are going to do better here.”
“You have got more experience with James Khitan coming in as a goalkeeper. In the center-back you have Gagandeep Bali who was with us in our title winning I-League and even scored four goals . Then we have Simranjeet(Singh) who was also with us title winning season. Later he was playing for Delhi Dynamos and North East United before getting injured and now he is back . We even strengthened out team even more. ”
Delhi FC does have an exceptional array of talent across all positions .With young talents like Anwar Ali, Karandeep Singh, Nikhil Mali , Himanshu Jangra to experienced players like Arnwar Ali Sr, Ekombong Victor Phillip, Wilis Deon Plaza, the squad has a perfect balance and with the insights and experience of Ranjit Bajaj who has produced some of the brightest talents through his academy, Delhi FC is hoped to have some glorious run over the time.