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Judge our guns on I-League display: Bhutia

Former India skipper Baichung Bhutia is apprehensive about Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sunil Chettri's trial with Scottish Premier League champions Rangers.


Sunil Chhetri

Bhutia, whose spell with English League One team Bury FC saw him become the first Indian footballer to ply his trade in Europe,  believes the Indian duo stand a better chance of earning a contract with the Glasgow club if they are judged on their performances in the I-League.


Baichung Bhutia

Mohun Bagan's Chhetri and Pune FC's Lalpekhlua, who have been in sparkling form for club and country of late � Chhetri's brace and Lalpekhlua's strike helped India defeat Malaysia 2-1 in Wednesday's international friendly � begin their trials in Scotland this weekend.


Jeje Lalpekhlua

"If Rangers are serious, they should send scouts to watch Jeje and Sunil play in India rather than taking them to Scotland.

"Both are excellent players and both are playing competitive football here. The scouts can watch them at their best here itself and judge them accordingly," said the 34-year-old, who was in the city yesterday to promote the Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools (BFSS) to be launched in Mumbai next month.

Bhutia felt acclimitisation will play an important role in the duo's performance at the trials. "The climate in Scotland is different. It's extremely cold. You can't expect them to suddenly click in seven to 10 days," added Bhutia, who had unsuccessful trials at Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa.

BFSS' first batch of training starts on December 5 at Priyadarshini Park, Bandra, Juhu and Kandivli.  BBFS are organising a tournament for school kids (December 2-4), wherein 20 talented players will win scholarships.

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