Chennai City FC striker Pedro Manzi, who was top scorer in the last edition of the I-League says he will not be satisfied with nothing less than defending the title in the new season which begins on Saturday.
The Uruguayan-Spanish forward, who scored 21 goals for Chennai City in what was his first season in Indian football, hopes to continue his prolific form this time also.
“I am looking forward to starting the season. After a vacation and a long pre-season, we all are back for the business. I enjoy competing and fighting it out on the pitch. There is no better motivating factor than defending the title and fighting to win the title two years in a row,” Manzi said.
The Coimbatore-based outfit made an impressive start to their campaign last season but they looked unsettled towards the end before clinching the title on the final day of the competition.
“Last year we had many flaws but with a lot of work we rectified those defects towards the end and finally, we were able to get the desired result. Akbar Nawas (coach) has a good way of working and teaching to rectify mistakes quickly, which is very important for the players for a long league like this,” he said.
He said it was the most important and beautiful season of his career.
“It was a special season for me regardless. I think it was the most important and beautiful one in my entire career till now. Personally, I was very happy to finish as the top scorer as well as glad to finish with the champion’s medal,” the 31-year-old striker stated.
The team has gone through an overhaul since then and it is a new-look outfit that will vie for the trophy this season when they kick-off their campaign against debutants TRAU FC at the Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore on December 1.
“It is a different team than last year, a young and inexperienced team where there are many players who have never played in the I-League before. But, there lies the challenge and we are up for it. We have had three months of pre-season, so the team knows each other well and can do its best in the league,” he added.
He praised the Indian youngsters, saying, “Indian players have a lot of potential, eagerness and enthusiasm for doing things right and earning a place in the team.”