PFC gears up for gruelling season
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Pune Football Club (PFC) is looking to better its previous season's performance in the I-League with a string of changes in its senior and junior teams.
The team has roped in South Sudanese striker James Moga from Sporting Clube De Goa. He will replace Mandjou Keita. Apart from Moga, PFC has included L Mohanraj, who will be the left back, and M Akhtar from United Sikkim will strengthen the flanks.
PFC head of operations, Chirag Tanna, says: "We have retained most of our players from the squad as both the club as well as the players are comfortable in their respective roles. This year, a couple of players from the U-19 team will be promoted to the senior division, creating vacancies in the junior team. A major issue last year was we were not given the I-League calendar on time, due to which we lost out in the first half of last year owing to our lack of preparation. This year, our players have begun the pre-season training and the players who were not included last year are back in the groove."
The team, however, has major worries in the goalkeeping department.
"Last year, Subrata, Shahinlal Meloly and Abrah Mondal were injured. Eventually, Amarinder Singh took up the reins and performed admirably. This season, even though Abrah will be our first choice goalkeeper, we are on the lookout for a goalkeeping coach," he says.
Lastly, Tanna says the club wants to make other teams residential ones as well as merchandising. He says, "We want to convert all the teams to residential ones so that we can hone the skills of players better. The merchandising has been a sore point, but before the season starts we are in talks with our kit supplier (Adidas) to ensure that the products are available on our online store by the time the season begins."
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