Club Eagles' Manager Mohamed Shiyaz (Mohan) praised his football players for staying motivated, despite financial obstacles continuing to be a goalkeeper struggle.
After a hiatus of 70 days to repair damages caused to the National Stadium following the hosting of July's Indepdendance Day celebrations, Dhiraagu Dhivehi Premier League has resumed preparations for SAFF Suzuki Cup.
Although the league has restarted, the delays have added a financial burden to most of the teams. Due to major issues in remuneration, players have not been in training, in fact, the club was even forced to sack two of their foreign players because of their financial struggles.
“To be honest, we find ourselves in a financial mess. However, we must give all the credit to the players,” said Mohan following their previous game.
“[Our] players have been coming to the practices regularly and have put in their maximum effort in each session. The management and the players have been showing respect towards building the team for better.”
In recent times, Eagles have presented in a different form even though they have scored the most goals in the league. The spotlight has been on Ahmed Rizwan (Rizey) who made a great contribution to the team if the form of 6 hatricks. This season, he scored 23 goals in 8 games and a total of 30 goals. Mohan also attributed Rizey's outstanding performance as being made possible by timely assists from other talented players in the team.
“We have seen the team connecting with each other as they have good knowledge of what makes for a good combination. It is evident from all the goals that we have scored. Rizey has scored some stunners although we have not come across an individual goal. Rizey, however, has been scoring more goals because of his work rate on the pitch,” said Mohan.
Further, Mohan added that a talented goalkeeper is of important even amongst a team of excellent players, stating that their Sri Lankan goalkeeper Sujan Pererra, is a long-serving player of the team, and a valuable contributor to its success.
“With the current style of football that we have chosen to play, undoubtedly, opposing teams will find opportunities to score against us. In times like these, Sujan's great performance as our keeper has well benefited us,” said the former coach of clubs New Radiant, Valencia, Mahibadhoo in South Ari Atoll, Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu Atoll.
Meanwhile, all the teams have played 13 games in the league and TC is leading the table with 36 points. Mazia finds itself at second place with 31 points with Eagles following closely behind at third place having earned 29 points. The former giants, New Radiant, however, are at the fourth place with 27 points.
On Male' Dhivehi League, Eagles places on second, and Mohan states that the team's target is to reach second place on the Premier League as well.
“After coming this far into the competition, we are trying to achieve second place. Hopefully, we will be able to achieve our goal. However, the power play is in Mazia's hands. We must try to focus and win all the upcoming matches,” said Mohan.
In addition to its earlier setbacks, the League had to postpone two matches due to the recently held momentous Presidential Inauguration Ceremony that took place at the National Stadium on Saturday. However, matches will resume on Wednesday with Eagles facing Victory Sports Club to mark the league’s comeback.