Indian Super League franchise Atletico de Kolkata during the foreign players draft picked Borja Fernandez, Jofre Mateu Gonzz, Josiguel Gonzz Rey, Arnal Llibert Conde Carb ,Sylvain Monsoreau, Jakub Podan, Apoula Edima Edel Bete from the 49-strong international player draft.
Saharsh Parekh, whose father Utsav Parekh co-owns the franchise sounded pleased at the mix of the players they have got ahead of the October 12-December 20 IPL-style football league. He emphasized that the team management would leave no stone unturned to ensure the players, who were predominantly Spanish, face no language problems. He also stressed that playing on a artificial turf wouldn’t be a major concern and that players would get used to it. Parekh said that the team would start its preparations for the tournament in right earnest once they get back to Kolkata. He mentioned
““There were a few formations that the coach wanted and accordingly, we picked our players. It’s all about creating a balance — young and experienced and then decided the players.” Today we are going to Kolkata and have a meeting and decide as 40-45 days is the ideal time to start the pre-season preparations. We have a list of 22 players. Now once we go back and discuss and see whether the coach needs some more. Hopefully foreign players would start the camp too depending on their visas. “
The club roped in Armenian Goalkeeper Apoula Edima Edel Bete. The former PSG and Hapoel Tel Aviv custodian is an interesting addition .The Cameroon born Armenian goalkeeper will fight with Dempo keeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury and Spanish Sancho Agundo for a place in the starting XI . The former PSG man was at the center of a controversy that he was living under assumed identity and Sevilla officially wanted PSG’s win over Sevilla to be overturned .In the end Edel was cleared of the false allegations .The club also signed Spanish goalkeeper Basilio Sancho Agudo , Agudo is the only player other than marquee signing Luis Garcia , who has already been in Atletico colours .
The Club also roped in Sylvain Monsoreau, the French central defender has played for the likes of Lyon and Monaco and has a vast experience playing in French Ligue-1 and also in UEFA Club Competitions. The 33 year old defender did not feature in a single match in the last two years for his clubs St.Ettiene and Troyes(2012-13). The defender will be willing to prove a point ,that he can play regular first team football at this level and this is one of the reasons the Frenchman is on his way to Kolkata.
The club have also acquired the services of José Miguel González Rey, commonly known as Josemi .Josemi who primarily plays at right back but also double up as a Central defender , can be remembered by football fans in India, for his stint with Liverpool. He was Rafa Benitez’s first signing and he was a part of the Liverpool Squad that won the Champions League in 2005,He had made 7 appearances in the reds victorious campaign, but with the return of Steve Finnan he struggled to find regular game-time and moved to Villareal CF and after staying in Spain for several years and playing 178 La-Liga games for the likes of Malaga ,Villareal and Mallorca he moved to Greece and after the stint in Greece he is ready to take on this new challenge.
Atletico de Kolkata roped in three foreign midfielders in the draft Borja Fernandez and Jofre Gonzalez of Spain and Jakub Podany of Czech Republic . Jofre Mateu González or simply known as Jofre is a Barcelona Youth product and after struggling to break into Barca’s first team quit the club and went on to play for the likes of Levante ,Espanyol, Rayo Vallecano and Girona before he joins up the Atletico De Kolkata contingent.The former Barca man has a La-Liga Champions medal and is brought up playing the Barca way and has a great passing accuracy . He is someone who will want the ball at all times and will want to make something out of nothing.
Borja Fernandez was recruited to fill in the central defensive midfield area , the former Real Madrid Youth Player who could not break into Real’s first team , reignited his career at Real Valladoid proving to be defensive pillar , helping them gain promotion to the top-flight after the club had struggled for the last 3 years in the second division. He last played for Deportivo in the 2011-12 Season in the second division of Spain.This will be a very good signing if Borja can live up to expectations.
Jakub Podany is a Czech International who has played for Sparta Prague is a utility player and can be used in both Left Wing as well as Left Back position’s.The Czech Republic player can slot into any of the 2 positions with ease but generally prefers to play in a more attacking position. Podany joins Atletico De Kolkata from Greek side Kalloni FC. Atletico Kolkata has also bought in 24 year old Botswana national Defensive midfielder Ofentse Nato. Nato and Borja will be looking after the defensive midfield duties of the Club. Nato comes from Atletico De Madrid’s ranks and is expected to rejoin Atletico de Madrid, after his spell in India and then be loaned out to a smaller Spanish club or the Atletico B team.
The club strengthened their Attacking options by adding Spanish Professional footballer Arnal Llibert Conde Carbó .The Catalonia born forward along with Indian Forwards Baljit, Md Rafi, Md Rafique and Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra have to shoulder the responsibility for scoring goals for the club. Arnal Libert has spent majority of his playing career in Spain ,so he will be accustomed with the training and playing style of Atletico , which will be a massive boost for the Club. Fikru Teferra is an Ethiopian striker who has joined the club , having experienced playing in the Czech 1st division and in the South African Premiership.The Ethiopian is known for his goal scoring habits and Atletico will be hoping, he can give a good return to the club.
With the Team all set and geared up, the assistant coach Miguel Martinez believes that training in Spain will help this squad and the players will train in the same facilities as the Atletico de Madrid players so it will be a massive confidence boost for young Indian players. Martinez believes that training in such top facilities and working closely with the Atletico Madrid side will benefit the side in competing in the Indian Super League (ISL).