WHEN CHURCHILL BROTHERS were suspended from I-League, things were going very good for them. They were a force to reckon with in the top division, had won a few league titles recently and even were the sitting Federation Cup champions.
But when a new private tournament called ISL was touted aiming to sideline the I-League and its clubs, and club president Valenka Alemao came out in strong opposition of it, rumours started that this transgression would be punished heavily. Perhaps coincidentally, the club was soon found to have failed to meet the licensing criteria and was thrown out of the league.
Now, a few years later, Churchill Brothers are back after a petition in the court and a mass pull-out of 3 Goan clubs (plus certain changes of political affiliations). The hard task for the club management at this point was to put together a number of signings on a very short notice and churn out a squad with a very small pre season.
While they were helped a little by the fact that Dempo, Salgaocar and Sporting Clube de Goa players were available for them to pick, they did not have an easy time coming into the league in such haste.
But their performance during the first game took everyone by pleasant surprise. They did not look half as bad as many thought they would, and actually put up a good fight, even hitting the woodwork towards the end of a 1-0 loss.
And that's because of the experienced Indian players they have in the team. Playing with an all-Indian squad, Churchill showed that whatever work they had done in the last few weeks has been towards the right direction.
So here's a look at some of the best domestic players they have with them this season.