Mapusa, Goa: Dempo SC, the 2011 I-league champions, will be to looking to start on a winning note when they take on Shillong Lajong on Sunday in the seventh edition of the season at the Duler Stadium in Mapusa, Goa.
Dempo's last season was marred by controversies, injuries and several off-field issues that saw the club failing to retain the I-League title and finish fifth in the table.
That resulted in 30 players, including seasoned Climax Lawerence, Anthony Pereira and Joaquim Abranches lose their place.
With coach Arthur Papas, who made a name for himself at Pailon Arrows, at the helm, the blue brigade is once again set to regain the glory.
The aim will be to get back into the reckoning as far as the title aspirations are concerned. The team is trying to push itself to the next level and adopt a new model to produce the desired results.
"Dempo, who have a young squad consisting four foreigners, will approach the new season with fresh ideas and a more scientific approach to churn out the desired results," said Papas.
Papas is optimistic about his young brigade doing well on Sunday, but for that to happen, he said "we are looking forward to the fans coming in large numbers to cheer the team".
On the other hand, Shillong Lajong coach Thangboi Singto, who arrived here yesterday after a long journey, have a poor record against the Goan sides in the away matches last season, and he is looking to break the jinx.
"Its always been a jinx coming to Goa to play against them. We have not been doing well against Goan teams in Goa. I think the last match we won against a Goan team here was when we beat Sporting Clube de Goa 1-0 in the 2009-10 season. After that I think we haven't really done much against Goan oppositions," he pointed out.
"Dempo are a formidable side who have won the league title for record number of times but we are optimistic of getting a positive result," stated Singto. "It's a good challenge for us to do well and start the season positively. Dempo will be expecting to do well and so will we. We will aim to get a good result."