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East Bengal's new recruits promise a better tomorrow


The signings of Jackichand Singh, Rowlin Borges and David Lalrinmuana are a statement of intent..

With the Indian Super League and I-League merger thought to be close, East Bengal officials are desperate to seal the I-League trophy this season. This hunger has grown more as arch-rivals Mohun Bagan have already won it once in 2014.

East Bengal head coach Trevor Morgan and officials are going in the right direction with their signings to strengthen their squad for the I-League. They have bolstered their ranks with some young Indian players who have been promising for their respective clubs and franchises in the last editions of the ISL and the last two I-Leagues as well as for the national team.

East Bengal have completed the signings of wingers Jackichand Singh and David Lalrinmuana with defensive midfielder Rowlin Borges ahead of the new campaign. Jackichand was instrumental for Royal Wahingdoh in the 2014-15 I-League where he was awarded Player of the Year. The Mumbai City FC’s man’s performance graph has increased day by day including his performance for the national team as well as where he has become a regular.

The former Aizawl FC midfielder and captain last season was terrific in the I-League where he grasped a total of five Man-of the Match awards. David is now plying his trade for MCFC in the ISL and his could only show glimpses in one match for the Ranbir Kapoor co-owned side. The Mizoram midfielder played an instrumental part along with Joel Sunday in taking the team to their maiden Federation Cup Final last year where they lost to Mohun Bagan, but earned a lot of praise with their display of football. They defeated a high profile and strong Bengaluru FC to reach the showpiece.

East Bengal had earlier finalized deals with goalkeeper T.P. Rehenesh and Robin Gurung. For Rehenesh this will be his second consecutive year with the Red and Gold. He is coming on the back of a consistent ISL performance where he had maximum clean sheets for NorthEast United in 2015. The Kerala custodian is yet to start this campaign as Subrata Paul is doing a very good job under the bars. On the other hand, Robin Gurung, who is considered the most versatile defender in India right now as he can play both at full-back and centre-back has played for Shillong Lajong for a long period. But this year he decided to shift colours and signed a deal with the Red and Gold brigade. Robin is currently playing for the NEUFC as well and he’s almost a regular starter for the Nelo Vingada managed side. His performance has been more than up to the mark and he is always in the good books of the coach.

In the forward line, Kerala striker Suhair VP has been signed by East Bengal as a back-up after his steady and constant performance for United SC in the Calcutta Football league where he managed to score 6 goals with a hat-trick to his name. Mohun Bagan officials and coach Sanjoy Sen had their eyes on him for a long time but their rivals had the last laugh in grasping him. He has been signed on a 2-year contract along with Rowlin Borges.

In the foreigners’ quota, talismanic Haitian forward Wedson has inked a deal with East Bengal for a year. After a lot o hiccups, the Haitian forward has got his release from Bangladesh club SK. Jamal Dhanmondi and will don the Red and Gold jersey in the I-League. East Bengal have already released defender Calum Angus who had a poor outing in the CFL. The Red and Gold officials are also set to release striker Do Dong-hyun within a week. The CFL winners are also in talks with few foreigners in the ISL to fill in some of the other spots in the squad.

To partner Wedson, East Bengal have held a series of positive talks with Kervens Belfort and the deal is to be finalised soon if Belfort can agree personal terms. In place of Dong East Bengal are looking for an Asian quota central attacking midfielder who can attack as well as defend by coming down the line. They are in talks with former Chennaiyin FC and Delhi Dynamos player Bruno Pelissari.

East Bengal are also looking for a defender from Africa who is tough and tall and has good physique to control powerful strikers.

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Kushankur Rony Rakshit. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.

Published: Sat Oct 29, 2016 01:08 PM IST


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