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Pune FC sign ’keeper Abhra ‘on-loan’
Pune FC have signed goalkeeper Abhra Mondal on emergency loan from Kolkata giants East Bengal.
The on-loan 25-year-old stopper will be in the midst of Pune FC until the end of the 2011-12 season. Abhra’s signing comes close on the heels of injuries to Pune FC’s first choice keeper Subrata Paul and second choice Shahinlal Meloly.
Abhra arrived on Wednesday (23 November, 2011) after Pune FC had planned and felt it necessary to reinforce the position as both Paul and Shahinlal are yet to recover from their respective injuries.
The soft-spoken Abhra joined up with his new teammates on Thursday ahead of Pune FC’s Round 7 encounter against Air- India. He will wear the No. 16 shirt and will share responsibilities with youngster Amrinder Singh.
For the record, Abhra has been part of East Bengal since 2005 with his high point being part of the Federation Cup winning squad in 2009 after three saves in the penalty shoot-out.
The signing was done after Abhra was released by the Kolkata side on November 21, which followed with Pune FC registering him the following day.
Coach Derrick Pereira welcomed the goalkeeper to the club, and said: “We’ve have secured an excellent signing in the short-term in Abhra from East Bengal.
In his first impressions on arrival, Abhra said, “The professionalism that Pune FC has adopted as a club since its inception is an attraction and hence it was easy convincing myself for the move.”
Having participated in Pune FC’s practice session on the eve of the game against Air India, Abhra explained, “It’s a nice feeling to be in contention of playing. Pune FC is a very good team, I have played against them in the past and now I am looking forward to play for them.”
Abhra, who did not turn up for the Kolkata side this season, added, “I want to do well I have come here to play and will wait for my chance.”
Coach Derrick opined that, “he (Abhra) has played at the highest level and has the experience. His inclusion will add confidence in our campaign for the rest of the season.”
Abhra, becomes the third player ever to join the club on loan ever since Pune FC has moved into the elite league. Strikers P Muthu (2009-10) and Singam Subash Singh (2010-11) were the others added to the roaster in the past.