Pune FC add Nicolau, Gabriel and Zeeshan to line up
Pune FC have signed Nicolau Borges, Gabriel Fernandes and Nawab Zeeshan for the remainder of the ongoing 2013-14 season.
The Goan duo Borges (left-winger cum defender) and Fernandes (attacking winger) have been roped in on-loan from Mohun Bagan and Dempo SC, respectively, while Nagpur-lad Nawab Zeeshan Ur Rahman has penned a three-year deal.
The trio, thus, turns out to be the most ever signed by Pune FC during the second transfer window.
Pune FC Head of Operation Chirag Tanna said: "With the upcoming AFC fixtures, it was important for us to get more depth in our squad. We were monitoring Zeeshan's progress for some time now and when an opportunity arose to sign him, we couldn't let it pass. Gabriel and Nicolau have I-League experience will play an important role for us for the remainder of the season."
Margao-based Borges, 34, began his professional career at Sporting Clube de Goa in 2004 after playing for a few amateur clubs. The winger cum defender then spent three years at Sporting before switching to state-rivals Dempo SC in 2007.
Fernandes, incidentally, began his as a junior at Dempo SC before moving to Sesa FA and then to Sporting Clube de Goa.
Moving out of Goa, the Porvorim-born Fernandes joined Mumbai FC in 2012-13 and made his name. Playing a total of 24 games, he scored 4 valuable goals to help Mumbai FC to a respectable eighth place finish.
At the start of 2013-14, Fernandes, 25, made the switch back to his first club, Dempo SC. Fernandes, who is comfortable playing as a lone striker or on any wing, has made a total of nine substitute appearances for the Goans.
Pune FC's third signing is Nagpur-born defender Zeeshan who arrives from the now defunct Mumbai Tigers. After playing for a few local clubs, Zeeshan joined Mumbai Tigers (then Dodsal FC) in 2012. During his time with them, the left-back has been a finalist (2012) and a semi-finalist (2013) in the Durand Cup apart from playing the 2013 I-League second division.
Zeeshan thus becomes the fifth Maharashtra player to represent Pune FC after striker Sandesh Gadkari (2007-2011), winger Paresh Shivalkar (2010-12), winger Nikhil Kadam (2012-present) and striker Prakash Thorat (2013-present) since promotion to top flight.
(Posted on 13-01-2014)