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Friday, April 19, 2024

Baichung Bhutia unveils his football team

Unveiling the squad of his team — United Sikkim FC — Indian football icon Baichung Bhutia on Sunday said staying in the I-League 2012-13 would be their first target.

Baichung Bhutia

The retired Indian football captain also hoped to play in a few matches but said he has to remain fit as being the owner does not guarantee a place in the XI.”It’s a new club with a young squad. Budget-wise we are nowhere near to Mohun Bagan or United SC. But we’re very very confident. Our main aim is to remain in the I-League,” Bhutia said of his one-and-half-year-old club, the qualifiers for the sixth season.Besides Bhutia, the 25-member squad has India defender Anwar Ali, former East Bengal forward Budhiram Tudu, along with two foreigners Taeyoon (Korean goalkeeper) and Nigerian veteran medio Salao Nurudeen.The 36-year-old said he would register himself to play in the upcoming season.”I have to stay fit in the top tier competition. I cannot just because I’m the owner.”The team is coached by former East Bengal’s Philippe de Ridder and Bhutia said he has given a free hand to the Belgian.”He has picked the squad. I’ve given him a free hand. He is fully responsible for the team’s result. I’ve full faith in his abilities,” Bhutia, standing next to de Ridder, said.The coach said they were also taking trial of Costa Rican World Cupper Carlos Hernandez, a defensive midfielder and Mun Mun a left back.Asked about India’s prospects under new coach Wim Koevermans in the Nehru Cup beginning August 23, Bhutia said, “We have a good side. We are hopeful. But you have to give them time.”The United FC also got a title sponsor for the upcoming season.


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