I-League: India international Jewel Raja rejoins Dempo
India international midfielder Jewel Raja has rejoined Dempo after spending two seasons with Mohun Bagan. The 23-year-old first joined Dempo back in 2008 after impressing for India’s age-group teams, but despite spending two years there, he couldn’t establish himself as a regular.
Jewel then excelled at Indian Arrows (Pailan Arrows) before signing for Mohun Bagan in 2011, but didn’t enjoy a great time there, although he has become a regular in the Indian national team in the last two years, winning 20 international caps.
The central midfielder certainly has a great chance of getting regular first-team action at Dempo because their coach for the new season will be Australian Arthur Papas, who has built a reputation of getting the best out of youngsters.
Dempo are also close to signing Jeje Lalpekhlua and several Arrows players are also keen on playing under Papas, but that depends on the future of AIFF’s developmental side.
Brazilian Beto is the only foreigner that the five-time champions have confirmed so far while Australian center back Simon Colosimo is also close to joining the club. Although the new rules will allow each I-League club to field four foreigners in the starting eleven, Dempo are only keen on having three, with the other remaining foreigner likely to be an Australian or former West Ham product Billy Mehmet, who now plays in Thailand.
All the foreign targets are recommendations of Papas, who will be looking to have a successful spell at Dempo although many players from the Armando Colaco era like Clifford Miranda, Peter Carvalho and Mahesh Gawli will remain at the club. But the future of some other veterans like Climax Lawrence, Samir Naik and Anthony Pereira still remains uncertain.