Rooney on verge of I-League title triumph

Australian striker Sean Rooney is on the verge of claiming the I-League title with Bengaluru FC.*

The club leads the competition - one point ahead of rivals East Bengal and with just two matches remaining. A win against Dempo SC on Monday will clinch the title, an impressive feat considering the club was only formed last year.

It has been a successful season for Rooney who is keen to extend his stay on the subcontinent.

The former Newcastle Jets forward, who joined Bengaluru in August 2013, said the team was positive heading into the clash against Dempo.

“We’re confident, we’ve been playing well lately” the 25-year-old said.

“We know it’s going to be a good battle because Dempo are a good, strong squad with a lot of good players. I’m sure if we play to our ability we’ll get the result.”

Monday’s match will pit Aussie against Aussie with Melbourne-born Arthur Papas coaching a Dempo squad including Simon Colosimo and Tolgay Ozbey.

Rooney, in his second stint in India after a short spell with Salgaocar in 2012, scored Bengaluru’s first-ever goal in the I-League last September.

“When I first came here there were no expectations of finishing in the top half,” he said.

“It was just get out there, get some good results for the club and that. What we’ve done is a big achievement.”

Rooney has scored nine goals in 20 appearances for the Bangalore-based side, which has won 12, drawn five and lost five of its matches.

“I’ve done well, I’ve had a decent season personally-wise,” he added.

A Blacktown City junior, Rooney played for Sydney FC’s youth team before joining the Jets in 2008.

He made 29 appearances and scored three goals for the Jets over a three-year period, before being released in 2011, and is now keen to extend his stay in the I-League.

“I’m not 100% sure what’s going on but hopefully I’ll stay on, I’ve enjoyed my time here,” he said.

In-form Rooney has been injury-free of late admits another crack at the A-League does appeal.

“I’d obviously love to go back and play in the A-League,” Rooney said.

“I had a pretty injury-filled run when I was there. Touch wood I have been good with injuries and I have played a lot of games in a row.

“Pretty much after I had my knee reconstruction at Newcastle I haven’t stopped playing.

“I’ve been to Indonesia, back to Blacktown, then to India, back to Blacktown and India again. I’ve had a good run of games without any injuries.”

* Bengaluru FC clinched the I-League title in their debut season courtesy of a 4-2 away win over Dempo Sports Club. Rooney got them off to a dream start, scoring in the second minute.