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Jeje first Pune FC player in India captain role; Ganeshan gets a nod
Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua did Pune Football Club proud becoming the first player of the club to be ever named captain of any India team at any level.
The twenty-one-year-old made Wednesday, 20th June, 2012 a day and date to remember after earning the right to lead country at the Asian Football Confederation Under-22 Championship (Qualifiers) to be played in Muscat from June 23.
The 23-member squad announced by the National body (AIFF) boasts of two Pune FC players with Chennai-born twenty-year-old midfielder Dhanpal Ganeshan being the other.
India is clubbed with hosts Oman, Lebanon, Iraq, UAE and Turkmenistan play Lebanon in their first match on June 23.
For Jeje, the honour to lead comes after a sustained effort of playing club-level football ever since Pune FC signed him in 2007. Back then, it was General Manager Dr. Ashok Kumar who spotted the Mizoram-born player at a camp in Goa.
Interestingly, Jeje was the first ever player to be signed by Pune FC when incorporated in 2007.
Likewise, soft spoken Ganeshan is one of those in Pune FC ranks who moved up from the Under-19 level.
In fact, Ganeshan was the first junior to make it into the senior Pune FC team after he signed up in 2010-11. Born in the religious town of Vyasarpadi, Ganeshan made his I-League debut for Pune FC seniors against Churchill Brothers in an away game in 2011-12.
Elated on the duo’s feat, Pune FC Head Operations, Chirag Tanna, said, “We at the club are very happy that Jeje and Ganeshan got selected into the national team and wish them luck in doing India proud.”
Coach Derrick Pereira opined, “Personally, I am happy for them… both are from our family and products groomed in a well worked system.”