Only a handful would have given Minerva Punjab FC the chance of winning the Hero I-League 2017-18. But a little more than halfway through to the competition they are actually the favourites to do so. Even star player, the Bhutanese import, Chencho Gyeltshen, the Bhutanese Ronaldo, as he’s fondly called, too believes that ‘this is the year of Minerva’.
“I firmly believe that this is the year of Minerva to lift the title. We have shown our mettle so far and I’m sure we will be the ones to get our hands on the trophy”, said the man who has been a prime factor behind Punjab’s stellar season.
With five goals and also four assists to go with them, Chencho has set the charts ablaze. But with his feet firmly on the ground, the marksman is ‘happy to contribute’. “Goals and assists are always welcome but I’m happy with being able to contribute to the team.”
“If I get chances I’ll go for the goal, if not then I’ll try to create chances and assists someone. What matters is that the team should do well and win,” he states in a matter of fact manner.
Minerva have hardly put a foot wrong this season with 8 wins out of 10. And the winger attributes that to solid teamwork, “Initially we were trying to understand each other’s playing style but we adapted quickly and developed a great understanding and the results are for all to see.”
“We would have even remained unbeaten but a match against Aizawl at their home is always tough. But we are happy we quickly bounced back from that loss.”. The loss against the defending champions came at a crucial juncture with a long away leg of games ahead but the young side held their nerves and shone through.
“The away win against Mohun Bagan convinced us that we truly have what it takes to win the league”, he added.
With matches in hand over the nearest rivals, Minerva just need to do what they have been doing all along and the crowning of a new champion will turn into an inevitable reality once the Hero I-League 2017-18 reaches its business end.