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Viva Kerala recruit three Ghanaians
June 11, 2007 18:51 IST
Viva Kerala [Images] has recruited three players from Ghana to strengthen the team for the 2007-08 season.
"We have revamped the team, retaining only four players who did duty for us last season. Our aim is to field a quality team in the National Football League," club chairman P Bhaskaran and secretary V M Liaquat Ali said.
The three Ghanian recruits are strikers Alfred Nil Larbi Darku and Wisdom Abbey. The third, defender Yaw Amankwa Mireku, played World Cup qualifying matches for his country.
All three were members of Ghanian club 'Hearts of Oak', Liaquat added.
Abbey played for Ghana in the Under-17 and Under-19 World Cups while Darku was a member of the Ghana team for the Confederation Cup a couple of years ago, he said.
Shine Raj, Sajesh, Jain P Raj (all midfielders) and Shiju (goalkeeper) have been retained.
Club authorities are planning to form a 'Youth football team' soon, Liaquat said, adding preliminary steps have also been taken for forming a strong 'fans club'.
The club has roped in two players each from Mahindra United, Churchill Brothers, Indian Bank [Get Quote], Mohammedan Sporting, and Sports Authority of India, and one each from SBT, JCT, Sporting Clube de Goa [Images], Calicut University and Cochin Port Trust, he said.
Bhaskaran said that former India coach A M Sreedharan will continue at the helm of affairs of the club.
The coaching camp will begin on July 15.
The average age of the local players is between 22 and 23 years while the Ghana players are aged between 26 and 28.
Goalkeepers: Purushothaman T G (Mahindra United), Raghavendra N (Sports Authority of India, Bangalore), Jinesh Thomas (Cochin Port Trust), Shiju (Viva).
Defenders: Othallo Tabia (Mahindra United), Irungbam Khelemba Singh (Churchill Brothers), Sajin (SBT), Arun S (SAI, Bangalore), Sunil Kumar Thakur (Mohammedan Sporting), Yaw Amankwa Mireku (Ghana).
Midfielders: Satish Kumar S (Sporting Clube de Goa), Bimanyu Bimal Birua (JCT); Sagolsem James Singh (Indian Bank), Saikhom Santa Singh (Mohammaden Sporting), Parveen Rawat (Churchill Brothers), Shine Raj (Viva), Sajesh (Viva), 18. Jain P Raj (Viva).
Strikers: Jatin Singh (Indian Bank), Alfred Nil Larbi Darku (Ghana), Wisdom Abbey (Ghana), O K Javeed (Calicut University).