I-League: Derrick Pereira All Praise For Subrata Paul And Edmar Figueira Over Their FPAI Awards' Nomination

Good words for his players...
Pune FC have two representatives in the Football Players Association of India’s (FPAI) Fans’ Player of the Year in their debut season in the I-League where they surprised many with a third place finish which is an achievement in itself.

Edmar Figueira and Subrata Paul were amongst the top five chosen by members of the Indian national team for the award alongside Kalu Nnanna, Anthony Pereira and Mohammed Rafi. Fans can vote for their favourite player at fpaofindia.com.

However, a large credit of their excellence goes to coach Derrick Pereira who played a key role in motivating the duo when the chips were down. Subrata Paul hadn’t had the best of seasons with East Bengal being benched for most of the time and was booed by the fans in the last game of the I-League.

At Pune FC, the former Mohun Bagan custodian saw to it that his new club managed to have the best defensive record in the I-League.

“As far as Subrata is concerned, no doubt he has done well with the national team. There was no problem motivating him. I believe that if you work with him the right way then the functioning is very smooth. He has the desire to do well,” pointed Derrick.

For the first eight matches in the I-League, Pune FC didn’t bag three points even once and the primary reason being that the goals weren’t coming. Edmar, the new Brazilian recruit, had found the back of the net only once against Churchill Brothers and that certainly was an area of concern.

“We always knew Edmar had the quality. But once he got used to the Indian conditions and how Indian football works, he did well.

“To some extent, we depended on him. Football is a team game and he had no support as on most occasions we had makeshift strikers in Douhou and Arata as Jeje was with the national team while Sandhesh was injured,” explained the former Mahindra United coach.

In order to strengthen themselves further upfront, Pune FC are on the lookout for a foreign striker to fill up their fourth foreign player’s spot with the deadline to conduct the transfer being until August 31st.

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