Revealed: How Rangdajied United roped in IMG-Reliance players

Gouramangi Moirangthem and Subrata Paul weren't part of the original list of players wanted by the north eastern club...

Rangdajied United have agreed to take five players, namely Sandesh Jhingan, Manandeep Singh, Tomba Singh, Gouramangi Moirangthem and Subrata Paul, on loan from IMG-Reliance FC, the club registered by IMG-Reliance to enlist the players roped in by them for the Indian Super League (ISL).

The north east outfit are the second club to defy the rules laid out by I-League Professional Football Clubs Association (IPFCA) after Mohammedan Sporting chose to sign five players from the IMG-Reliance bandwagon – Manish Maithani, Luis Barretto, Syed Nabi, Ishfaq Ahmed and Mehrajuddin Wadoo last month.

Following their move, it was Rangdajied who decided to take the plunge. Following their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Pune FC, Santosh Kashyap, the club’s coach, was given a list of IMG-Reliance players from which he choose six, of which five were to be taken. The six players were Manandeep Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Khelema Meetei, Sushant Matthew, Sukhwinder Singh and Tomba Singh.

However in the IPFCA meeting held on October 28 in Kolkata, the representative of Rangdajied did mention about them being in touch with IMG-Reliance for loaning of players. Following some convincing by fellow members, Rangdajied held on – at least on the face of it.

“We don’t want to be like Mohammedan Sporting but we also have to think about our club. We are at the bottom of the table and we don’t intend to give other clubs the impression that when they face us, three points are for granted.

“We need some experience in our team and hence we are not opposed to the idea of bringing IMG-Reliance players. But at the same time, we do not wish to snap ties with IPFCA. We have to ensure that we do not get relegated. We are looking for a way out,” Karsing Kurbah, the general secretary of Rangdajied, had told Goal a fortnight ago.

It must be noted when Bhaichung Bhutia mentioned of not all I-League clubs being against the idea of taking players of IMG-Reliance FC on loan, the statement was criticized by representatives of several teams but has eventually come true.

“Teams like Ar-hima (Rangdajied United) who have just come into the I-League, they are a young team and have come into the I-League after so much of struggle. You don’t want them to be relegated next season,” said Bhutia back in August this year.

Following a poor start to their season, the existential queries began to haunt which prompted Rangdajied to do a u-turn from their stance when Kurbah said, "Rangdajied will abide by the decisions of IPFCA."

Prior to their game against Salgaocar, the club head honchos held a series of meetings and thereafter informed Kashyap that he could avail the services of Gouramangi and Paul if he wishes to. The coach replied in the affirmative and the final list of players who were to join Rangdajied was altered.

Manandeep was the first to report to the training on November 4 and has since been practicing with the first team.

“I am happy that we have got these experienced players which will add some steel to our team. Hopefully we will get the desired results in the coming matches,” Kashyap told Goal.


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