After an agreement with Emami, the new primary investor, East Bengal, confirmed the signing of 13 domestic players in the senior squad for the upcoming season. Emami Group of Industries signed an agreement with East Bengal to become the new investor of the club on August 2, which boosted the century-old club’s prospects of playing in the Indian Super League in the upcoming 2022-23 season.
New signings, as announced by the club in a press release, include: Pawan Kumar, Mohammad Rakip, Subhashis Roy Chowdhury, Sarthak Golui, Ankit Mukherjee, Souvik Chakrabarti, Mobashir Rahman, Wahengbam Angousana Luwang, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Aniket Jadhav, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Naorem Mahesh Singh, and finally V.P. Suhair. East Bengal have managed to find a neat balance between youth and experience.
Unlike in recent years, most of the players on the list in East Bengal are more than capable of playing in the top-tier of Indian football. However, two of the biggest names acquired by the 103-year-old club will have to be Jadhav and Suhair. Both are proven entities in the Indian Super League (ISL).
Mr. Aditya V. Agarwal, Director, Emami Group, said: “We are lacking for the ISL. But the way we have worked in the past one month, we’ll cover the lost ground. We need some more time to build a strong team. But we’ll build that.”
Stephen Constantine was named head coach of the club a few days ago along with former Kerala Coach Bino George assisting him. Aditya Agarwal said, “Stephen Constantine knows the players, Indian culture and tradition. He is a good choice. He’ll be in India in a few days. Regarding the team building, we will bring in talented players.”
East Bengal club official Debabrata Sarkar added, “Coach should probably get his visa tomorrow. Also, hopefully in the next few days, foreign players will be selected. At the same time, Santosh Trophy winning coach Bino George will bring in some players he has worked with.” With the rumours of Kerala’s Santosh Trophy heroes, Jijo Joseph, Jesin TK already floating around it doesn’t seem to be an impossible endeavour.
Debabrata Sarkar assured on the subject: “The old East Bengal will play with the same zeal against ATK Mohun Bagan. Our preparations will be visible on the field. This season, we will not be any inferior from the other teams.”