I-League champions Bengaluru FC have signed midfielder Cameron Watson from Australian A-League side Newcastle Jets ahead of the upcoming 2016/17 Indian football season.
Watson, who had a stint at the FC Porto youth academy, made his name in the Adelaide United midfield before switching over to Newcastle Jets last season. However, the 29-year-old had made only 17 appearances for the Jets last season, which seems to have prompted a move to India this year.
“Cameron is a good player in a position that’s very important to the team. He has a good background playing in Australia which I think is an impressive League in terms of standard and his presence would help us grow,” Bengaluru FC’s new coach Albert Rocca was quoted as saying in the Blues’ official website.
— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) August 5, 2016
The Australian midfielder is Rocca’s first signing as manager of Bengaluru FC. In fact, Watson’s signing will fulfill the Asian players quota. The Australian’s first task after joining the I-League champions will be to play in their AFC Cup quarter final match against Singapore’s Tampines Rovers FC, who beat Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in the round of 16.
East Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting kick off CFL campaigns with wins
Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting started off their Calcutta Football League campaigns with wins against Bhowanipur SC and Army XI respectively.
Mohammedan Sporting earned their first victory of the 2016 CFL campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win over last season’s third-placed side Army XI, with Manvir Singh scoring the equaliser.
Both sides deployed variations of the 4-4-2 system on a rain-soaked afternoon at the Mohammedan Sporting ground in Kolkata. However, it was Mohammedan who took the lead in the 15th minute, after Manvir slotted the ball into the net with a left-footed strike.
The Army men chased the game for the remaining 75 minutes, but failed to find an answer to Manvir’s goal despite having star striker Arjun Tudu in their ranks.
Meanwhile, East Bengal also managed to to notch up their first win in their defence of the CFL title, as they defeated Bhowanipur SC by a 2-1 scoreline. Jiten Murmu and Lalrindika Ralte scored the two goals for East Bengal, while Orok Orok scored Bhowanipur’s only goal.
East Bengal’s player of the year from last season, Do Dong-Hyun, created the chance for the opening goal. He crossed the ball into the box for Murmu to unleash a vicious left-footer to beat Bhowanipur goalkeeper Bubai on the 20th minute. It did not take Bhowanipur long to equalise though, as Orok Orok levelled the scores just 12 minutes later.
Do Dong played a part in the second goal as well (although unintentionally this time), as he mistimed his header from an Abhinas Ruidas cross. However, Ralte was there to turn the loose ball in for the 53rd minute winner.
Daniel Seaborne joins Mohun Bagan
Former Southampton defender Daniel Seaborne has joined Mohun Bagan ahead of their first CFL match against Aryan Club on Saturday.
The 29-year-old Briton brings in loads of experience with him to the Mariners, as he has played for reputed English sides like Southampton, Charlton Athletic, and Bournemouth.
— Mohun Bagan (@Mohun_BaganAC) August 5, 2016
Mohun Bagan have been on the lookout for a top quality centre-back all summer, even taking Senegal’s Massamba Sambou and Zambia’s Aaron Katebe on trial. However, neither of the defenders were eventually signed as their deals were not sanctioned by head coach Sanjoy Sen.
The Mariners have been unimpressed with last season’s star signing Luciano Sabrosa, as they leaked goals during the season. As a result of this, Mohun Bagan failed to defend their I-League title, finishing second behind Bengaluru FC.