Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kerala Blasters Sign Seven Players
Photo: Telugu Cinema
Thiruvananthapuram, 23rd July 2014: Kochi-based Kerala Blasters Football Club did brisk business on day one of the central domestic player draft for Hero Indian Super League at Mumbai on Tuesday signing seven players, including Indian internationals Mehtab Hossain and Nirmal Chhetri.

Assistant coach Trevor Morgan was the kingpin for the Blasters and it showed with four out of seven players - Mehtab, Chhetri, Gurwinder Singh and Sushanth Mathew - drafted into the ISL team having played football for East Bengal FC when Morgan was the head coach there.
Mehtab Hossain, Nirmal Chhetri, Godwin Franco, Gurwinder Singh, Ishfaq Ahmed, Sushanth Mathew  and Sandesh Jhingan
Mehtab was reportedly the highest valued Indian at Rs 35 lakh in the draft while 23-year-old Chhetri has already won nine caps for India. Ishfaq Ahmed, Sandesh Jhingan and Godwin Franco completed the line up for the club owned by Sachin Tendulkar and Prasad V Potluri.

Blasters signed Sushanth in round six, their only acquisition of a Kerala player on day one, but missed out on another in Mohammed Rafi who was picked by Atletico de Kolkata, co-owned by Sourav Ganguly. Four more Kerala players will come up for grabs on the final day of draft on Wednesday.

Blasters secured the signature of highly- experienced winger Ishfaq Ahmed, who played for Mohammed Sporting SC last season. Jhingan, a young centre back, was a player for Mumbai FC in I-League.

28-year-old defender Franco, along with his soon-to-be teammate Chhetri, were called up for trials with German second division side Fortuna Dusseldorf last December.  Having already secured a winger and three defenders and midfielders each, Blasters are expected to try to bolster their striking department as well sign a goalkeeper in the remaining seven rounds on day two.

Apart from Morgan, Rajeev Kamineni, executive director of PVP Ventures, William D’Silva and Soli K Colah, managers of the team, represented Blasters at the draft.

Team owners Tendulkar and Potluri stayed away from the draft on Tuesday, but the latter is expected to attend on day two.

Courtesy: The New Indian Express
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