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Mahindra United rope in top players

May 23, 2004 16:59 IST

Mahindra United, who finished third in the National Football League this year, have roped in the cream of Indian players for the coming season.

The Mumbai outfit have signed East Bengal defenders Mahesh Gawali, Sur Kumar Singh and goalkeeper Sandip Nandy along with Salgaocar's medio Jatin Singh Bist and Mohun Bagan striker Dipendu Biswas, according to the sources at the All India Football Federation.

Mahindra are also negotiating with East Bengal's Baichung Bhutia and Salgaocar's medios Tomba Singh (player of the year) and Climax Lawerence, the sources added.

Former champions Salgaocar, who finished eight in the NFL mainly due to a poor performance by their strikers and keeper, are likely to rope in Vasco's Brazilian striker Marcos Pereira and Mohammedan Sporting and Haywards 2000 Sporting 'keeper Gumpe Rim and Felix D'Souza respectively in place of Rajat Ghosh Dastidar, who has in turn moved to East Bengal.

However, the chances of D'Souza playing for Salgaocar are remote as the player has extended his contract with Haywards apparently till 2007, the sources said.

Salgaocar have also recruited Haywards' Jerose Oliveira and Mohammedan Sporting's Amandeep Singh and Bhewan Chandra Joshi.

Salgaocar have retained the services of Nigerian Felix Ibrebu, Bello Rasaq, Raghu Singh, Gurinder Singh, Samson Singh, Remus Gomes, Micky Fernandes, Freddy Mascarenhas, Bernard Pires, Savio Pereira and are negotiating a deal with Dempo midfielder Clifford Miranda.

Placed sixth in the NFL and keen to improve the rating, Vasco have signed keeper Virender Singh, who spent the entire season coaching various age-group national teams after joining Punjab Police.

Apart from Singh, Vasco have secured the services of Haywards and Mohammedan Sporting medios Avinash Thapa and Satish Minz respectively.

Vasco, however, have been able to retain the services of Agnelo Colaco, Seby Dias, Kamal Thapa, Sushant Mathew, Vinu Jose, Levy Coelho, Kingsley Sequeira and Ryan Colaco.

Finishing seventh, Haywards played reasonably well in their maiden appearance in the NFL and now have signed Dempo's Wilton and Felipe Gomes.

They have also signed Mahendra Mani of Indian Bank, Anthony Pereira (Salgaocar), Joe Rodrigues (Cabral), Simon Borges (Napoli), Nicolau Borge (Cabral), Seby Martins (Sarzora), Gilbert (MPT), Jitesh (ITI), Anil Kumar Singh (Vasco) and Parmar Singh (JCT).

But their defender Luis Aniewata has signed for East Bengal along with Vasco's defender Selwyn Fernandes.

Churchill Bros, who finished fourth in the NFL, suffered a jolt after Mohun Bagan signed their three key players -- Noel Wilson, Rajesh Meetei and Farooq Hyder.

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