LNTUP

Ignored by franchises roped in by Mohun Bagan

Photo: Mohun Bagan
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The Indian football fraternity rose up to this Sunday morning with deep curiosity and excitement regarding the most awaited event of the month , the ISL 2017 draft.

By the completion of the last round of the event a total of 134 players were snapped up by different teams, some returning to their old franchises (Lenny Rodrigues to Bengaluru Fc and Rino Anto to Kerala Blasters) and some moving out to new ones.

But to utter misfortune of some, they missed the bus by just a whisker. For 71 of these 205 players who did not get picked up by any of the franchises this was not just the end of the road and one clear evidence of it was the roping in of young Abhisek Das by Mohun Bagan who approached the player latter in the day post the draft after he was left unsold. So basically for Das this was a day filled with mixed emotions as just when the future looked gloomy for him the Calcutta club came calling to make him a part of their upcoming campaign of 2017-18.

Having already donned the green and maroon journey two seasons back Das is going to reunite with his former club for this season and would definitely want to avail this opportunity since he is most certain to get plenty of first team chances this time round. With the departure of Pritam Kotal (he got picked up by Delhi Dynamos in the draft) and Prabir Das(he was retained by ATK) to their respective ISL franchises, coach Sanjay Sen would definitely try to fulfill the void created at the right back position.

A graduate of Tata Football Academy (also popularly known as TFA) and initially having successful stints at Pailan Arrows(previously known as the AIFF X1) and with Kingfisher East Bengal as well (in his first year at East Bengal he was loaned out to Pailan Arrows after graduating from TFA) the first big break arrived in his career when he was included in the East Bengal senior team in 2011 for the Federation Cup( Das made his senior team debut against Mohammedan Sporting in this tournament). He also got called up for the u-23 youth team in the Olympic qualifiers in 2011 where he made his national team debut against Myanmar( India won 3-2 on aggregate before eventually crashing out to Qatar in the latter stages) and following a series of impressive performances he was picked up by ISL club Chennaiyan Fc in 2014 to play for them.

In 2016 Mohun Bagan signed him on a season long loan from Chennaiyan Fc and although he did manage to win the Hero Federation cup with them but his appearences were very few and far between. It seems Sanjay Sen has a liking towards Das from his TFA days and the promptness shown by Bagan officials in sealing the deal shows how eager they were in getting their boy back(he was sold to Chennai City Fc and featured for them in last year’s Hero I league).

Following bulk of their players embracing the glitz and glamour of the Hero Indian Super League the Kolkata clubs are having a torrid time to put up a decent squad over the last two months. This 26 year old pocket size dynamite is full of raw pace, youth exuberance, energy and industry which Kotal has been providing for the last three seasons at this position. Although the fee is undisclosed but as per some official sources a deal is reportedly struck between the two parties and the signing is pretty imminent(moments after he was left unsold Bagan approached and agreed personal terms with him).

This can be a potentially perfect signing as Sen lost his famous bong brigade to the hands of ISL and looks on to somehow revamp the squad securing some of the quality players who were left out of today’s draft. Nadong Bhutia, Israel Gurung are to name a few and East Bengal are also having a keen watch to the proceedings as Alvito D’Cunha himself has flown away to Bombay to discuss terms with a handful of unsold players.

Although Das has got big shoes to fill in the club but coming out of the shadows of Pritam Kotal and Prabir Das finally might give him the push that is required to relaunch his career once and for all. With the likes of Ricky Lallawmawma, Kingsley and Kingshuk already having been confirmed this signing can be pretty decent in terms of settling the Bagan defence for this season.