Indian Arrows have always needed time to ascertain their direction and the match against newly promoted Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) at the Tilak Maidan on Sunday will be another occasion to get their act together.
The little boys from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) development team have been capable of throwing surprises at the Tilak Maidan in the past under former coach Floyd Pinto and are capable of continuing with the trend under new coach Shanmugam Venkatesh, who once entertained football fans in Goa with his unique style of midfield mastery.
That Indian Arrows should not be underestimated could be gauged when they shocked – and not surprised Churchill Brothers FC. Shanmaughan has with him a bunch of youngsters who have understood the new grill of football going on in India and are responding with time.
Newly promoted TRAU, on the other hand, are yet to get the feel of being at the top level of competition in the country. Unlike Indian Arrows, they have foreign players in their ranks that are complemented by a group of player from the North East.
If Indian Arrows is made up of young blood; TRAU is a mix of young blood and foreign exposure and it is here that the difference could lay. Indian Arrows are at the bottom of the I-League table and TRAU are just a step on top and just one point separates the two. The line is thin.
“Mohun Bagan had a difficult time against us and it was not an easy outing at all. Our boys fought neck-to-neck until the final whistle and the experience will surely bear fruits for us in the upcoming matches,” was coach Venkatesh’s justification for the team’s last match result against Mohun Bagan.
“TRAU, in their last match, found the taste of victory and facing them now would be really challenging. They are improving constantly and we have to be at the top of our game to get some points,”added Venkatesh whilst characterising the team’s opponent during the pre match conference on Saturday.
TRAU, on the other hand, lifted themselves off the foot of the Hero I-League standings following their historic and so far, maiden victory over cross-city rivals Neroca.
Tiddim Road outfit has been unbeaten for three games with their last defeat being against Kolkata giants Quess East Bengal last year.
“My boys all are pumped up and it was a great win for us against Neroca. Now we have to start fresh and from scratch. We are looking forward to the game against Indian Arrows match and like any other fixture, this one is very important to us,” said TRAU FC coach Dimitris Dimitriou.
Indian Arrows, despite being the AIFF developments side, has a connect with football fans from Goa as the team practises here. A win against the visitors will help Indian Arrows leap over the visitors whilst TRAU will move just below Aizawl FC and along with Chennai City and East Bengal who also have eight points.