Bengal team hopes to lift Santosh Trophy | sports | Hindustan Times
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Bengal team hopes to lift Santosh Trophy

sports Updated: May 28, 2009 16:18 IST
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Bengal football captain Habibur Rahman Mondal on Thursday said his side were among the favourites to lift the Santosh Trophy in Tamil Nadu.

Bengal last won the title in 1999.

Indian Football Association, which had already named the Mohun Bagan defender as the captain, on Thursday announced the 20-member squad to kick off their campaign in the quarterfinal league on June 2.

29-time winners Bengal got direct entry to the quarterfinal league as last year's semifinalists. They are clubbed in Group A with defending champions Punjab and two other qualifiers from the cluster stage that began on May 24.

Announcing the squad at Mohun Bagan club, where Bengal's practice ended today, IFA Secretary Utpal Ganguly said, "We hope Bengal will return with the title this time."

Exuding confidence on the side, skipper Mondal said, "It's a dream to lead Bengal in a national championship. We have a combination of youth and experience in the side. I think this is Bengal's best team in four years and we hope to win the title."

Incidentally, Bengal won their last Santosh Trophy in Chennai in 1999. Thiruvallur, Coimbatore and Tiruchi are the three other venues for Santosh Trophy in Tamil Nadu this year.