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The Dutch coach named three teams among favourites to lift the Federation Cup title in Kerala this year…

Pune FC have roped in striker Gabriel Fernandes on loan from Dempo SC until the end of the season, as reported by The Herald.

The 25-year old scored four goals for Mumbai FC last term and thereby sealed a move to Dempo SC last summer. However having made nine substitute appearances for the Golden Eagles with a combined total of 119 minutes, Fernandes was said to be desperate for first team action after being left out of Dempo’s squad for the Federation Cup.

With Pune FC struggling to provide enough support for Mustapha Riga upfront, the club was in the transfer market on the lookout for Fernandes, a player they tried to sign last year. Also with winger Nikhil Kadam not named in their 18-member Federation Cup squad, Pune FC would be buoyed with the signing of Fernandes who can also play on the wings.

Meanwhile Pune FC coach Mike Snoei believes that Churchill Brothers, East Bengal and Bengaluru FC are amongst the favourites to win the Federation Cup. It must be noted that Churchill are at the bottom of the I-League table but are placed in the same cluster as Pune FC in the Cup competition.

“We take this tournament very seriously. I want my team to realise that this is the perfect preparation they could get before the all-important AFC qualifiers.

“This tournament is really interesting. All the top teams of I-league are vying for the title which would be decided in two weeks. What interests me most is the format of the championship. I can assure you that this tournament will see a close finish with teams like Churchill, East Bengal and Bengalure FC looking strong contenders for the title,” Snoei told The Times of India.

Pune FC face Eagles FC on Tuesday in a Group A encounter and Snoei doesn’t want to take the Kerala-based outfit lightly.

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