Jamshedpur FC has a good mix of foreign players with Murray and Valskis in the front and Hartley and Sabia at the back. The team has roped in Rangers midfielder Greg Stewart, who will be the creative head to build attacks in the middle of the park.
Though the Red Miners will miss Nigerian centre-back Stephen Eze, it will look to mitigate its issues with an eye for the play-offs, somewhere it has never been able to break into since its inception in 2017.
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Nerijus Valskis was another foreigner retained by Coyle’s side. The Lithuanian striker has been embroiled in Indian football since 2019 and was awarded the Golden Boot (highest goalscorer award) in his debut season in the Indian Super League with Chennaiyin FC.
Owen was the team’s manager then. He then moved to Jamshedpur last year, wherein scored eight goals for the Red Miners. Valskis has experience of playing in several countries including Poland, Israel, Belarus and Latvia.
Jamshedpur’s new No.10 spent his previous season with Kerala Blasters where he was one of the top performers having scored 7 goals. He started 14 games for the Tuskers in ISL 2020-21 (with a total of 19 appearances).
In the pre-season friendlies, he has shown that his attacking prowess will be one of the talking points this season, with three goals in two matches.
Murray began his career with Bulli FC before joining the youth team of Wollongong Wolves, which plays in the National Premier League. He then moved to Sydney to join APIA Leichhardt where he struck 43 goals in 64 games during his two seasons with the club and also won the Golden Boot in 2018.
Peter Hartley (Captain)
Hartley was one of the earliest foreign players retained by Jamshedpur, which lost Stephen Eze and had to look for alternatives.
Hartley made his debut under former Manchester United captain and then Sunderland manager Roy Keane and also played versus Burnley in 2009, which was then under the management of Owen Coyle, Jamshedpur’s current coach.
The former Sunderland and Motherwell FC defender was influential in leading Jamshedpur to a club record number of clean sheets (9) and ended the season with impressive stats – 52 tackles, 22 interceptions, 72 clearances and 23 blocks. He also scored 2 goals during the campaign.
Greg Stewart joins the ISL side from Scottish Premier League Champion, Rangers, which went the entire 20-21 season unbeaten under Liverpool legend now Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard.
The Scottish national began his career at Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Championship where he spent four seasons and moved to Dundee FC to play for three seasons.
The attacking midfielder then joined English Championship club Birmingham City through which he enjoyed loan spells at Aberdeen, where he finished runners-up in 2017-18 in the Premiership and Kilmarnock. After finishing 3 seasons as a Birmingham player, Stewart made his move to Rangers.
The 32-year-old comes with four seasons of Indian Super League (ISL) under his belt with his time at Chennaiyin FC before joining Jamshedpur, where he also helped his team to finals of the ISL in 2019-20 and the Super Cup in 2019.
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Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Eli rose through the ranks of local club Paulista and had several loan spells including one at Swiss top division outfit FC Lausanne in 2007-08 and another at Santos, where he was teammates with PSG and Brazil forward Neymar, who was enjoying his breakthrough season at the time.
The Brazilian midfielder was retained by the Red Miners, with an extension till May 2022. He started and played 19 matches for Jamshedpur FC last season, becoming one of the architects of the midfield under Owen Coyle.
Alex has previously played under Owen Coyle in the Major League Soccer in USA for Houston Dynamos. He has also plied his trade for Chicago Fire in the same league.
The 32-year-old has the experience of playing in Asia with stints in the K League 2 (South Korea) with Suwon FC and FC Anyang and most recently with Ho Chi Minh City FC in V.League 1 (Vietnam). The midfielder has amassed a total of 43 goals and 23 assists in a total of 337 appearances in his career.
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