Bengaluru FC's 2017 ISL Draft Details: Khabra, Lenny Rodrigues, Rahul Bheke among signed

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The Albert Roca-coached team have stuck to their policy of keeping the core intact.

Bengaluru FC, the new entrants of Indian Super League (ISL), focused on keeping the core of the side intact during the domestic drafts in Mumbai on Sunday, signing a number of players who had earlier played for the club.

In their first six turns, the Blues continued to rope in as many as four players who had played for the club last season - Lalthuammawia Ralte, Alwyn George, Harmanjot Khabra and Lenny Rodrigues.

ALSO READ | COMPLETE LIST OF PLAYERS SIGNED BY ISL CLUBS

Ralte, who had to spend the last two seasons at the club under the shadow of Amrinder Singh, will now see himself thrust into the limelight more. The club also opted for former East Bengal goalkeeper Abhra Mondal as their second choice.

Rahul Bheke, who has played for East Bengal and Mumbai FC in the past, will be one of the new faces at the club and will be joined by other freshers like Thongkhosiem Haokip and Boithang Haokip.

The JSW group-owned outfit, which has used two foreign central defenders during the entirety of its existence, also looked interested in strengthening their back-line. Promising left-back Subhasish Bose and central defenders Joyner Lourenco and Zotea Ralte were brought in while former Mohammedan Sporting defender Collin Abranches will also don the club colours from next month.

Bengaluru FC ISL 2017 draft

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Bengaluru FC's opening foray into the ISL will be guided by their Spanish coach Albert Roca. The 55-year-old former Barcelona and Galatasaray assistant coach has won the Federation Cup two months ago after a stuttering start to Indian football, but knows full well it's at the league stage of the ISL where he must get things right from the get-go. His Southern Eagles finished a disappointing fourth last time around in the I-League.

Roca had also led Bengaluru to their maiden Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Cup final in 2016, where the Blues came runners-up. 

Being an ISL new entrant, Bengaluru FC ensured that they kept their star skipper Sunil Chhetri in the team ahead of today's draft. Two-time I-League champions had also retained young winger Udanta Singh along with U-21 players Nishu Kumar and Malsawmzuala.

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