With home advantage on their side, Kerala’s Eagles FC are determined to make an impression in the Federation Cup, which starts later this month, and to achieve that they have loaned 13 players from AIFF’s commercial and marketing partners IMG-Reliance.
Eight of those players were signed early in December and five more have been added recently including India international striker Sushil Kumar Singh. The remaining four are former Air India midfielder Ong Lepcha, ex-Shilong Lajong defender M Subhas Singh, former I-League winning midfielder Chitrasen Singh and ex-United SC midfielder Gouranga Biswas.
Each of the 13 IMG-R loanees have I-League experience while Eagles FC head coach Stanley Rozario has previously been in charge of East Bengal, Shillong Lajong and Mohun Bagan besides being in the India national team’s coaching staff during Bob Houghton’s tenure.
They have also recruited three foreigners already with two of them – Nigerian striker Koko Sakibo (Dempo) and Ghanaian central defender Charles Dzisah (Viva Kerala) – having played in the I-League before. Former Josco FC striker Emmanuel is their other signed foreigner.
A source close to the club added that the club are aiming to get an Asian foreigner before the tournament.
“We are looking at various options for the Asian foreigner slot. We also have an American-born PIO (Player of Indian Origin) who is a midfielder. Overall the squad looks solid so hopefully we will be able to put up a good show in front of our fans,” the source told Sportskeeda.
Formed in 2010, Eagles is also going to compete in this year’s I-League second division. They replaced Shillong’s Langsning FC in the Federation Cup and have been placed in Group A along with Churchill Brothers, Pune FC and United SC.
Eagles will be making their debut appearance in the Indian version of the FA Cup and all their matches will be played at Kochi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium with the first one against Pune on January 14.Published 04 Jan 2014, 22:05 IST