Tuesday, 17 May, 2022
E-paper

Foreign recruits to bring ‘lost glory back’ for Sk Russel

Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Ltd had been facing a relegation threat when they suffered five consecutive defeats in the first phase of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League football but the situation of the club have improved considerably when Bashundhara Group Managing Director and also the Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Ltd’s Chairman Sayem Sobhan Anvir took the helm of the team at the right time.

The former BPL champions ended the first phase in the 8th spot in the 12-team league with 10 points from two wins, four draws and five defeats due to the strong steps and right decisions taken by the club Chairman Sayem Sobhan Anvir.

However, the club are now eyeing to bounce back on the track and are determined to end the league in a respectable position on the leaderboard after the end of the second phase.

To accomplish the goal, the club are signing three new foreign players for the second phase as Ivorian midfielder Kpehi Jean Charles Didier Brossou and Nigerian forward Ismahil Akinade already joined the club.

Charles Didier earlier played for Chattogram Abahoni Ltd from 2019 to 2021 but Ismahil Akinade will make his debut with Sheikh Russel here. The Nigerian forward earlier played in Irish and Vietnamese leagues.

Apart from them, the former Ghanaian national player Richard Gadze is also expected to join the club. The 27-year-old striker is expected to arrive in Dhaka today to take part in a trial. Gadze played for only one match for the Ghana national football team but he has vast experience in playing club football. 

He played for Delhi Dynamos in Indian Super League, Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi in Finnish Football League, Zira FK in Azerbaijan Premier League, Voluntari in Romanian Football League and Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldovan National Division.

The club’s interim head coach Zulfiker Mahmud Mintu believes that their new foreign recruits would bring good fortune to the club.

“We are bringing three new foreigners. Two of them already started to practice with the team. Practically, we can't claim the title from this point but we have to finish the league in a respectable position. New recruitments will help us to earn our goal,” Mintu said.

“It will be possible if locals make a good bonding with them by this short time. Locals have to establish a good team combination with new foreigners and assist them on the pitch. That’s why I kept the training sessions on,” he said.

Sheikh Russel were releasing Brazilian forward Ailton Machado, Brazilian midfielder Thiago Amaral and Portuguese forward Esmael Ruti Tavares Cruz Da Silva while they retained Kyrgyz defender Aizar Akmatov.

“I tried to recruit foreigners for specific positions but at this moment we can’t bring a lot of changes to the team. We have to move with what we have. Our Chairman Sir told me that he will make a new team before starting the next season to clinch the title but I have to end the ongoing league in a respectable position,” he added.

Sheikh Russel earned the highest success in the season 2012-13 when the giants earned a domestic treble – Federation Cup, Independence Cup and Premier League. The club also earned the Independence Cup title in 2011.

The club were able to play in the semi-finals of the AFC President’s Cup in 2014 and the AFC Cup play-offs two times in 2015 and 2017 which were the highest international achievements of the club so far.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Russel ended runners-up in 2015; finished third in 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2016 and 2018-19; fourth in 2007 (the first edition of the premier league named as B.League); fifth in 2012; sixth in 2013-14 and 2017-18; seventh in 2020-21 and tenth in 2019-20 which was abandoned due to Covid-19.