FC Pune City announced on Tuesday, their seventh and final overseas signing for the ISL season 5 which will commence later this year. The Pune based ISL Franchise have netted in experienced English defender Matthew Mills who has been an employee of Manchester City and Leicester City. Earlier in August, Pune announced the signing of another defender Martin Diaz from North-East United and Robin Singh from ATK.
Pune City have managed to retain four of their previous year’s overseas players who were a part of the team’s best finish in the tournament since its inception. FCPC have retained Skipper Marcelinho, Diego Carlos and Alfaro in attacking area which was their frontline on most of the matchdays last year. The attacking trio was joined by last year’s midseason signing Marko Stankovic who impressed the fans in his short spell at the club.
Surprise to many of the supporters, the club parted ways with Marcos Tebar, Rafa Lopez and long serving midfielder Jonathan Lucca for this season. However, this does not make the team look any less formidable. To add to an already star-studded frontline, FCPC signed arguably the best attacker of tournament’s history, Ian Hume. The Canadian is all-time top scorer of the tournament. The only concern the orange army might have is the replacement of a creative midfielder in Stanko’s absence.
Domestic players played a crucial role in Pune’s best finish in the tournament and the club has acknowledged that very well. The club has extended contracts of Vishal Kaith, Ashique and Gurtej Singh. Rohit Kumar and Adil Khan have also joined the stallions. New faces who will be seen donning the iconic Orange-Purple stripes include Gabriel Fernandez, Keenan Almeida, Alwyn George and Nikhil Poojari.
The Stallions will be led by last season’s Delhi Dynamos head coach Miguel Portugal whose former side beat Pune 3-2 in the opening game at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex. The former Real Madrid player is known for his attacking style of play which was certainly seen at the end of last season. He will certainly be delighted to have the likes of Hume, Alfaro, Marcelinho and Robin Singh to his attack.
The club certainly looks determined to bring home the trophy this season and those who have followed last year’s tournament certainly believe that Pune are perhaps the first contenders to do so.