After having finished runners-up in I-League last season, Pune FC – arguably the most professionally managed club in Indian Football, have completed their foreign quota for the coming season by signing Raúl Fabiani, Calum Angus and James Meyer.
Pune FC has become the neutral’s favorite club in I-League after the club finished second in the I-League but despite finishing second, it has been a busy summer for the Red Lizards. Derrick Pereira departed and the club released three of its four foreign players namely Chika Wali , James Moga and Boima Karpeh and a host of important Indian players like Jeje, Subhash Singh and Karma Tsewang were also released. Mike Snoei was roped in as the new coach and while other clubs were signing players quickly, Pune FC were shrewd in their signings and roped in six Indian players. After signing the Indian players, Pune FC in the last couple of weeks have announced the signings of Raúl Fabiani, Calum Angus and James Meyer and the trio along with play-maker Douhou Pierre are the four foreign players for the club in the coming season.
” I’m happy to be in India and be a part of Pune FC which is one of the top clubs.I’m willing to put in a lot of effort and want to help Pune FC win the league. I will try to score as many goals as possible.”
Standing at 6 ft 6 in, 29 year old Raul Fabiani became the first foreign signing of Pune FC. The tall forward will have to fill in huge shoes left by the departure of James Moga who left the club in summer. Fabiani started his career as a youngster with Villareal and in 2003/04 season played for Villareal reserve team in the second division of Spanish League. After this Fabiani has played on several second and third division clubs in the Spain. The high point of his club journey so far has been his two year stint with Alcoyano where he played a key role in his club’s promotion from the third to the second division scoring 12 goals in the process. Fabiani has played for several third division clubs in Spain – Moralo CP, CP Cacereño, UD Lanzarote, CD Teruel and Villajoyosa CF and has been among the goals wherever he has played. Fabiani also had a stint with Greek club Panachaiki FC.
At the international level , Fabiani recently broke into the team of Equatorial Guinea and has represented his nation six times with the high point being the 2012 African Cup of Nations where he made two appearances. In Pune FC, Fabiani will have to shoulder the burden of scoring goal specially after the departure of Jeje, Subhash Singh and James Moga. He will be supported by James Meyer and Prakash Thorat in the forward line. Fabiani is an experienced campaigner and his experience will surely benefit the young players in the team.
“I’m happy to be here. The emphasis of Pune FC is on the youth system and it’s very interesting. They want to bring young players into the main team and it is very exciting.I spoke to the coach and he is very positive about the team. We’ve got good young players and so the coach was interested in me to come here and hand over some experience to the youngsters. The club is definitely looking long term. At the same time they had a great season last year and we want to continue on that this year.”
Defender Calum Angus became the second foreign signing of Pune FC after the club signed the 6 ft defender from Swedish side GAIS. The 27 year old defender is a product of Portsmouth youth academy and after graduating from the academy he moved to United States on a soccer scholarship where he joined Saint Louis Universit. His performances in the college-football won him several accolades and he started his career in the lower tier of American league where he played for St. Louis Lions and Wilmington Hammerheads. In 2009 he signed for Swedish side GAIS after a successful trial and scored in his debut match, helping his team equalize. In his four year stay at the club, Angus played 72 matches for his team scoring 4 goals in the process. A welcome trait of the central defender has been the fact that he has been among the goals where he has played and this will definitely aid Pune FC.
Angus has replaced the fan-favorite Chika Wali at the club, who spent almost 4 seasons with the club, and has his task cut out.The defender is expected to lead the Pune FC defense along with the highly rated Anas Edathodika and the fans would surely keep a watch on the duo’s performances in the heart of the Red Lizards’ defense . The presence of Angus in the backline will definitely help the talented youngsters in the team – Gurjinder Kumar, Srikanth Ramu and Zohmingliana Ralte mature into better players.
“It’s a new challenge and I am up for it. First and foremost I would like to help the team be successful. Personal goals are secondary, but I would like to score as many goals as possible. The I-League is a growing league and quality foreigners are needed. Hopefully, I can bring something to Indian football and teach the local kids what I know.”
Pune FC completed their foreign quota by roping in attacker James Meyer after he was released by A-League side Brisbane Roar. 27 year old Meyer started his youth career with Brisbane City FC and also represented youth teams of Hertha Berlin (Germany) and Bohemian FC (Ireland). Meyer, known for his pace and versatility, began his senior career in the state leagues of Australia before he was roped in by Brisbane Roar. In his three seasons with the club, Meyer played in 22 matches and scored six goals. He even represented Brisbane Roar in the AFC Champions League. In addition to playing as a striker , Meyer can also play on either flanks or even as an attacking midfielder and is well known for his ability to score from long-range. Meyer’s versatility gives a lot of option to coach Mike Snoei and he is expected to share the burden of scoring goals along with Fabiani.
His experience of playing in one of the top leagues in Asia – A-League, will definitely help him settle down in I-League and he is likely to prove to be more than a handful for the opposition defenders in the I-League. Meyer’s experience of playing in the AFC Champions League is likely to come in handy when Pune FC make their maiden appearance in AFC Cup in the coming season.
Pune FC have certainly brought in quality foreign players and with AIFF allowing all four foreign players to be fielded at the same time, Pune FC’s fate to a large extent will be determined by the performances of the foreign trio . Only time will tell how successful the trio turns out to be.