Carles Cuadrat, the head coach of East Bengal FC, has expressed optimism about the young talents within his team ahead of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023 season. He has emphasized the team’s commitment to nurturing and developing young talent in Indian football.

Cuadrat, a Spaniard who joined East Bengal FC in the summer of 2023, has already made a significant impact on the team. Under his guidance, the team reached the Durand Cup final and secured a victory over rivals Mohun Bagan Super Giant in one of the Kolkata derbies during the tournament. He has instilled a more aggressive and attacking style of play in the team, leading to notable improvements.

In the previous season of the ISL, East Bengal finished ninth, but since Cuadrat’s arrival, the team has shown marked improvement and promise for the upcoming season.

Speaking at the ISL Media Day on the topic of playing East Bengal reserve team’s promising youngsters, the East Bengal head coach stated, “It is clear that we need to try and help Indian Football. The young talents need opportunity. When I was in Bengaluru, I gave opportunities to players like Suresh Singh to have more experience in the ISL and to get promoted to the national team.”

The assistant coach, Bino George, who hails from Kerala, played a key role in managing the reserve team in the Calcutta Football League. The reserve team’s impressive performances, including topping the table in their group and remaining unbeaten during the League stage, have caught Cuadrat’s attention. He has pledged to provide opportunities to some of the standout players from the reserve team in the ISL.

“I come from a root at Barcelona, that if the players have quality, they can help the team. It is a question of training, see the talent in training and then help them get implemented into the plan of the team,” the Spaniard stated.

“I hope that the youngsters can be with us longer and improve as players. I have seen a lot of CFL matches and detected some good talents. We have to learn a lot but we will be supportive to create new talents for Indian Football,” he attached.

Cuadrat has a track record of helping players like Nishu Kumar and Rahul Bheke earn spots in the Indian national football team, highlighting his commitment to player development.

East Bengal FC has also strengthened its squad for the upcoming season with notable signings such as Mandar Rao Desai, Harmanjot Khabra, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Borja Herrera, and Saul Crespo. These additions have brought balance and depth to the team’s lineup.

Despite their positive performances in the Durand Cup, Cuadrat is focused on starting afresh in the ISL. East Bengal FC is set to begin their ISL campaign against Jamshedpur FC in Kolkata, and Cuadrat is determined not to let past success affect their preparations for the league.

“I am not going to say the positive (where) we will finish because we have powerful teams in the league. All the teams have been getting great players, trying to go forward with new projects with new coaches,” he stated.

“It will be an interesting ISL because we will meet a lot of coaches who have been champions in India, be it the Champions of the ISL, Federation Cup, Super Cup etc. They already know how to be competitive in that environment, so that is great for ISL to have so many champion coaches in the competition,” he concluded.


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