Sporting Bengal boss Gazi identifying strongest line-up

Action from the pre-season friendly between Hackney Wick and Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the pre-season friendly between Hackney Wick and Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi is planning to use the final few weeks of pre-season to determine his starting line-up ahead of the new season.

Action from the pre-season friendly between Hackney Wick and Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the pre-season friendly between Hackney Wick and Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

Bengal played out a 3-3 draw with Hackney Wick at the weekend and still have a few more fixtures before they start the new Essex Senior League campaign.

The boss is pleased with how the overall squad is looking and said: “I’m trying to identify what my best eleven will be to start the season, which I’m assuming will be September 1 when we play in the FA Cup.

“It’s not about winning in pre-season it’s about finding little gems and I’m pleased that I’ve found a nice blend of experience, good attitude and commitment.

“Everything is still up in the air about who my first or best eleven is.

Action from the pre-season friendly between Hackney Wick and Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the pre-season friendly between Hackney Wick and Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant


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“I think I probably know seven of the starting line-up, and that means five or so places are still up for grabs.

“I don’t expect the ESL to be a walk in the park, it will be a great experience for the lads that have just joined and the majority of the new lads have never played in the league before as a lot of them are from west London.

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“They’ve got experience in different leagues, so it will be interesting to see how they get on.”

The long-serving manager revealed it was a game of two halves when they faced the Wickers on Saturday as they led 3-0 at half-time only to then be pegged back.

Action from the pre-season friendly between Hackney Wick and Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the pre-season friendly between Hackney Wick and Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

“It was a good performance from the squad on Saturday. As I’ve said, pre-season so far has been good in terms of attitude and commitment levels from the new faces,” added Gazi.

“In terms of quality it will be interesting to see how we get on in the ESL, but at the moment we’ve got a lot of players that have played step six, and some have played at step five. So it’s a mixed bag, but I’m really impressed.

“On Saturday I started with a strong eleven.

“I still had four or five players missing, but we were up 3-0 at half-time so I made a lot of changes.

“It showed in the second half. We made about seven changes and ended up drawing 3-3, so genuinely a game of two halves.

“Credit to Hackney Wick for showing that desire and will to get back into the game.”

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