Within a year of reaching the Malabar coast, Trinidad and Tobago defender Andre Ettienne has made the place his second home.
For the defender, the Arabian Sea evokes memories back home and he is in company of his childhood friends Nathaniel Garcia and Marcus Joseph.
“I will call this place as my second home. And these boys who train with me are my family. We live together, train together and joke together. We three are quite comfortable here. The players here have helped us a lot to jell with the place and team,” says Andre Ettienne.
The defender believes that a lot has changed from the previous season, in which he was roped in midway. “I feel better this season. Last season I was there for only five matches. This season I was able to take part in the Durand Cup. I have put in a lot of work for the team and you can see the changes,” he said.
Andre is awed by the standard of the league and the kind of players in the tournament. “There is a good mixture of foreign players and local standard. The league has evolved to have a high standard. It is very competitive. If you watch the matches, you will understand this,” he explains.
Malabarians have come with a stellar performance so far by winning the Durand Cup and reaching the semifinal of Sheikh Kamal International Cup. The expectations of the fans are very high and the bulky defender believes the team is on course of winning the league.
“The chemistry in the team is very good. The players are very friendly and we have a family atmosphere in the team. We have already put in a good display and I believe we stand a good chance to lift the championship,” he said.
The defensive record of the team has also been excellent after the coach deploying a three-man backline. “For me the system offers lot of opportunity to command the game. The coach has been showing certain areas we have to work on. It has given result. I have played along with Irshad and Jestin and the communication between us have been excellent,” he added.
“I believe the people here will come and make the atmosphere the best. We are looking forward to make everyone happy,” said Andre.