Urge to win trophies secret behind Bengaluru’s success: Westwood

Bengaluru, Nov 3 (IANS) Former Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood on Thursday said the urge to win more trophies and determination not to lower intensity has been the cornerstone for the I-League club’s peerless success in a very short span of time.

Bengaluru take on Air Force Club (Iraq) in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup final in Doha, Qatar on Saturday. They are the first Indian club to reach the title round of any continental tournament.

Founded in 2013, they have already won two I-Leagues and a Federation Cup. The AFC Cup final would of course be their biggest match of their short existence so far.

“We had believed in ourselves and had a strong desire to prove ourselves. In the first year Bengaluru FC had won the I-League followed by the Federation Cup next season,” Westwood, who was Bengaluru’s coach till last season, told www.the-aiff.com.

“Even after winning three trophies in three successive seasons we didn’t sit back but tried to achieve more. The urge to win more, to accomplish a new challenge is the key to success of Bengaluru FC.”

Bengaluru won the I-League in their maiden appearance in the 2013-14 season, winning the Federation Cup next season. They are the reigning I-League champions.

“We had put a framework, we had chalked down a process and everybody started to take it seriously. Bengaluru FC have tapped in not one but many an area which was left untouched in Indian football before,” he said.

“If others start following what they have set up, that could be the biggest advertisement for the club’s professionalism.”

Westwood left the club after a mutual agreement between both the parties ahead of the ongoing season. Spaniard Albert Roca replaced him.

“Bengaluru FC did reciprocate to my approach and they let me guide them to achieve the goal,” Westwood said of the club’s professional setup which has been instrumental in the unbridled success so far,” he added.

Captain Sunil Chhetri scored a brace in the semi-final against Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim as Bengaluru emerged 4-2 winners on aggregate.

On the Chhetri’s superb show, Westwood said, “I have always said that he’s capable of winning a match on his own. He has the quality and ability to ransack an opponent on his day. He’s a big-match player and he has always performed on the bigger stage.”

–IANS

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