Mohun Bagan bolsters squad by accommodating ISL draft rejects

Preparing for the local season, or the Calcutta Football League, Mohun Bagan prepared an interesting squad looking to wrest the title from its traditional rival East Bengal.

Of late, Mohun Bagan has been focussing mainly on the national tournaments like the I-League and the Federation Cup.   -  Getty Images (Representative Image)

Mohun Bagan drafted in a host of players almost immediately after the Indian Super League’s player draft for the upcoming season left a few names without clubs. Preparing for the local season, or the Calcutta Football League (CFL), Mohun Bagan prepared an interesting squad looking to wrest the title from its traditional rival East Bengal, which has been winning CFL crown for the past seven seasons.

Of late, Bagan had been focussing mainly on the national tournaments like the I-League and the Federation Cup, where it has found fair amount of success in the past three seasons. But with the CFL remaining out of its grasp since 2009, Mohun Bagan seems to have changed its tactics this season by picking at least seven players – defenders Abhishek Das, Debabrata Roy, Gurjinder Singh, midfielders Nikhil Kadam, Israil Gurung, Shilton D'Silva and Denson Devadas - after the ISL draft.

And with the three foreigners – Nigerian Kingsley Eze (defender), Liberian Ansumana Kromah (midfielder) and Ivory Coast’s Stephen Bayi Kamo (striker) – joining the ranks, Mohun Bagan squad looks formidable enough. Though Shankarlal Chakraborty is named the head coach for the CFL, the real man in charge for the last few seasons, Sanjoy Sen, will be acting as a ‘mentor’ before returning to his position in the I-League, which this year will run concurrently with the ISL.

The squad

Goalkeepers - Soramangbam Poirei (from - DSK Shivajians), Shilton Paul (retained), K. Shibinraj (retained), Mithun Samanta (Sambhalpur Academy);

Defenders - Arijit Bagui (Peerless SC), Suman Hazra (Southern Samity), Sarthak Golui (retained), Abhishek Das (Chennai City FC), Bikash Saini (Sambhalpur Academy), Bikramjit Singh (retained), Surajit Sil (Salkia Friends), Kinshuk Debnath (capt. Atletico Kolkata), Kingshley Eze Aizawal FC), Ricky Lallammawma (DSK Shivajians), Washim Akram Mallick (Kalighat MS), Debabrata Roy (Chennai City FC), Gurjinder Kumar (Salgaocar FC).

Midfielders - Chesterpaul Lyngdoh (Churchill Brothers), Pintu Mahata (retained), Sourav Das (retained), Denson Devadas (Chennai City FC), Raynier Fernandes (retained), Shilton D'silva (Mumbai FC), Rohit Mirzya (Mumbai FC), Nikhil Kadam (Mumbai FC), Israil Gurung (DSK Shivajians):

Forwards - Azharuddin Mullick (retained), Stephane Bayi Kamo (Aizwal FC), Ghanefo Ansumana Kromah (Churchill Brothers), Naro Hari Shrestha (DSK Shivajians), Uttam Rai (Minarva Punjab).

Support staff - Sanjoy Sen (Mentor), Shankarlal Chakraborty (Head Coach), Arpan Dey (GK Coach).

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