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Bhutia to lead Mohun Bagan

June 18, 2007 20:53 IST

Mohun Bagan have named Baichung Bhutia captain and Brazilian Carlos Roberto Silva as chief coach for the 2007-08 season.

Announcing the players' list at a crowded media conference in Kolkata on Monday, Bagan president Swapan Sadhan Bose said Dharamjit Singh would be the vice-captain.

The club's roster includes five stars -- defenders N S Manju, Peter Siddiqui and Rauf Khan, and medios L James Singh and S Venkatesh, who did duty for Mumbai's Mahindra United last year.

The green and maroon brigade also poached on Mohammedan Sporting claiming four of their players, including defenders Subhasish Roychowhdury and Habibur Rahman Mondal.

Brazilian striker Jose Ramirez Barreto is the only foreigner in the club's ranks so far.

Seasoned campaigner Bhutia has had a long stint as skipper of the national squad, but had not led any club till the last season despite playing football for various outfits for the last 15 years.

The nippy striker turned out for local giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan besides JCT Mills, Phagwara, and also English professional side Bury F C and Penang FC of Malaysia.

Terming the opportunity to lead the green and maroon brigade as a 'great honour', Bhutia said, "On my part I will do my best to bring success to the club."

Asked about his target for the coming season, he said, "To play better and better. I hope Bagan will put up a better show than they did last year."

The Bagan president said Carlos, who coached East Bengal last year, was chosen for his technical knowledge, ability to gel with senior players and astute media handling. The veteran coach's good rapport with club officials was also taken into consideration.

Welcoming Carlos's appointment, Bhutia said though he had not worked under him, other players showered praise on the Brazilian for his technical brilliance.

Carlos had limited success with East Bengal last year, and his contract was not renewed by the red and gold club.

The Bagan president, however, felt there were other reasons for Carlos's failure to deliver the goods.

He said, though Bagan's contract with Carlos was for a year, his stint would depend on the club's performance.

"He has to give us good results. He is a professional. If he cannot, he will have to go," Bose said.

On five players joining East Bengal this year, Bose said, "We expect our common sponsors, UB Group, will provide us Rs 10 lakh per player, as per contract."

Dwelling on Bagan's lacklustre showing last year, Bhutia said injuries to six/seven key players had heavily affected the club.

"Injuries are part and parcel of a player's career. This year, in case some players are injured, substitutes will have to do their best," he said.

Mohun Bagan squad:

Goalkeepers: Imran Khan, Sangram Mukherjee, Shilton Paul

and Pralay Dutta (Chirag United).

Defenders: Sanjeev Maria, Dipak Kumar Mondal, Bijoy Basfore, N S Manju, Peter Siddiqui, Rauf Khan (the last three from Mahindra United), Subhasish Roychowdhury, Habibur Rahaman Mondal (both Mohammedan Sporting), N Mohan Raj (HASC) and Rahul Bhattacharjee (Customs).

Midfielders: S Dharamjit Singh (vice-captain), Lal Kamal Bhowmick, Sumon Dutta, Chinmoy Sarkar, Rahul Kumar, L James Singh, S Venkatesh (last two from Mahindra United), Jamir Ali Mondal amd Sudheesh Muttath (both Mohammedan Sporting), Parminder Singh (JCT) and Tapan Maity (Kolkata Port Trust).

Forwards: Baichung Bhutia (capt), Jose Barreto, P C Lalawmpuia, Ayan Chowdhury and ishfaq Ahmed (Dempo).

Chief coach: Carlos Roberto Silva

Asst coach: Satyajit Chatterjee

Goalkeeping coach: Hemanta Dora

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