East Bengal announced their Calcutta Football League (CFL) Premier Division 'A' squad for the 2017-18 season on Saturday.
The Red and Golds will look forward to mount their title challenge under the stewardship of former Aizawl FC coach, Khalid Jamil this season, eyeing a record eighth successive triumph in the 120-year old competition.
East Bengal had an uphill task cut out for them this season as many of their high profile players left the club to play in the Indian Super League (ISL) instead. Rehenesh TP, Rahul Bheke, Narayan Das, Mehtab Hossain, Rowllin Borges, Robin Singh and Bikash Jairu were some of the names from the East Bengal camp that chose to take part in the ISL.
Coach Jamil has signed up almost 25 players so far, including the likes of Willis Plaza, Carlyle Mitchell (both Trinidad & Tobago) and Mahmoud Al Amna (Syria) as foreign recruits.
The squad had a good pre-season and recently got the better of local rivals Kalighat M.S in a friendly ending 4-1 to East Bengal's favour.
Al Amna, a former Aizawl FC recruit himself looks to be in fine form heading into the new season. A lot will depend on how he can link up play with Trinidadian striker Willis Plaza throughout the season as he looks to make amends following a disappointing I-League outing last season. The experience of Indian International, Mohammed Rafique too will help heading into the new season.
The defence looks solid with captain Arnab Mondal taking charge. A lot can be expected from new international recruit Carlyle Mitchell who will be lining alongside Mondal in defence.
The full squad:
Goalkeepers: Luis Barreto, Dibyendu Sarkar, Mirshad;
Defenders: Lalramchullova, Tanmoy Ghosh, Mehtab Singh, Rahul Ghosh, Salam Ranjan Singh, Carlyle Mitchell, Deepak Kumar, Kaushik Sarkar, Gurwinder Singh, Samad Ali Mallick;
Midfielders: Mahmoud Al Amna, Brandon Vanlalremdika, Richard Costa, Surabuddin Mallick, Yami Longvah, Bidyasagar Singh, Lalchanchima, Gabriel Fernandes, Nikhil Poojary, Cavin Lobo, Laldanmawia Ralte;
Forwards: Willis Deon Plaza, VP Suhair, Jobi Justin, T Suranjit Singh, Prakash Sarkar, Mohammed Rafique.