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New Punjab I-League team looks to build fanbase

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New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) RoundGlass Punjab FC will be embarking on their maiden season in the I-League starting January this year and coach Curtis Fleming said that they will be looking to maintain a brand of football that will help keep the old fans of the erstwhile Minerva Punjab while attracting new ones.

“We are a new entity and we have to start somewhere. No club ever starts with 100,000 fans. It is something that we have to work on every season, even the big clubs in these Covid times because of the financial expectations. How you sell a new entity is by bringing in a style of football and building trust with our Punjab fan base,” said Fleming in a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Minerva had a topsy-turvy time in their four years in the I-League, finishing ninth on two occasions but also finishing third last year and even winning the title in 2017/18, just a year after they had been promoted to the league.

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Fleming, 51, said that there is already a good foundation of fans for the new club to build on. “I’m from a small country called Ireland where we have a population of 6 million. In Punjab we have about 33 million. So please don’t tell me we can’t get any fans from that,” he said.

“Football is a global game and it is going to get bigger and bigger in India. Fans want to be entertained so I think in the I-League, we need to play some good football and attract fans. It won’t happen in one season, this is a foundation season for us.”

Punjab will face Aizawl FC on the opening day of the season on January 9.

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–IANS

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