GANTOK, September 17 - Defending Champions of the Governor's Gold Cup, Nabil Three Star Club, will begin their title defense at the Palzor Stadium on Thursday with a game against George Telegraph. The organisers have been generous with the Nepali outfit giving them a bye into the quarterfinals, meaning they will advance to the semi-finals if they manage a win against Telegraph.
Nabil Three Star Club Coach Upendra Man Singh believes the club will advance to the semis without much difficulty. “We will begin our title defense will a stroll in the park,” said Upendra Man Singh with confidence.
Telegraph had advanced with an unconvincing 1-0 win over Goa. The lacklustre Telegraph performance has instilled confidence in the Nepali outfit.
“We hope to give our best in the game as we have trained hard for this tournament,” added Upendra, who was also the coach of the team when they won the previous edition. Three Star have also finished the runner up the year before.
The event this year marks Three Star Club's fifth year of participation in the event. They have always been a crowd puller in the tournament. This year is no exception. With a team filled with players from national squad, Three Star club look destined to bring the title home.
Former Nepal national Bal Gopal Maharajan is helping Upendra Man in coaching this time around. Maharjan thinks the team is stronger this year as compared to when they took part in the previous edition.
“We have a stronger and a more organised team this year,” claimed Maharjan.
He has his own reasons to justify his claim. “This time most of the players are from our own club, unlike previous years when we used to borrow players from other clubs just for the tournament. We have strong defenders like Biraj Maharjan and Sagar Thapa, both of whom have been exceptional this year. Apart from them, our midfield is also strong, not to mention the strikers.” Maharajn further justified his claims by saying that his team had gathered a lot of experience playing together. “The players have gone through three weeks of training. During that they have developed a healthy coordination among themselves,” said Upendra.