Indian Super League

Bengaluru FC sign Gursimrat Gill and Sairuat Kima, Pune City retain Emiliano Alfaro

The 21-year-old Gill spent one year in Bengaluru, joining from the AIFF Elite Academy, before moving to NorthEast United.

Bengaluru FC have completed the signing of youngsters Sairuat Kima and Gursimrat Singh Gill on two-year deals till the end of the 2019-’20 season, the club announced on Monday. The duo join Kean Lewis and Rino Anto in the Blues’ camp as they continue to reinforce their squad ahead of the AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-final tie against Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FK in August.

Twenty-one-year-old Gursimrat, who first joined Bengaluru in 2016-’17 season from the AIFF Elite Academy, went on to feature in the I-League and the AFC Cup campaigns before being part of the Federation Cup winning squad in May 2017. The youngster was excited to rejoin the Blues after spending a season with NorthEast United.

“I’m really happy to have joined Bengaluru FC again. I was unlucky to be injured for most parts of my first stint at the club, but I’m glad that the club kept an eye on me and wanted to bring me back. I’m looking forward to joining the team and playing a part again,” said Gursimrat who made five appearances for the Highlanders in the ISL.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Sairuat who joins the club from Jamshedpur FC, began his youth career with Mizoram-based Chanmari FC before joining the DSK Shivajians youth setup in Pune. He was promoted to the first team during the 2016-17 season where the 6’3” tall defender featured in the Durand Cup and the Federation Cup apart from being a mainstay in defense in the I-League. The U23 India international was then snapped up by Jamshedpur in the ISL 2017-18 draft and featured for the Jharkhand-based side in the Super Cup.

“This is a big moment for me, and I’m really grateful for this opportunity. I’m excited to play for a professional club like Bengaluru FC, one that I’ve admired a lot. To go onto the next level, I must train regularly with the best players and BFC have the finest of the lot. Playing with them is something I’m eagerly looking forward to and hopefully I’ll give my everything and achieve success with the club in the coming years,” said Sairuat after completing formalities.

Emiliano Alfaro returns to Pune City

Pune City retained the services of striker Emiliano Alfaro for the 2018-19 season. The Uruguayan joined the club in 2017-18 playing each and every match last season.

Speaking on retaining Alfaro, Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Alfaro has been one of our key core members and a fan favourite too. He clocked almost 90 minutes in every game he played last season and his speed and decision making up-front contributed big time to FC Pune City’s historic run to it’s first ever play-offs. His performance was exemplary and we are glad to have retained his services for the upcoming season.”

The striker plied his trade as a professional first in his home country’s national premier division club Liverpool Montevideo in 2006. He donned the national colours against Italy in a friendly in 2011 that got Italian club Lazio to pick him. He spent three seasons with Lazio before re-joining Uruguayan club Liverpool Montevideo in 2014-15 helping them win the Segunda Division Title. During his stint with Pune City, Alfaro played 19 games and scored nine goals making him the highest scorer of the club. Alongside skipper Marcelinho, the two were one of the most lethal striking pairs last season.

Expressing his happiness, Alfaro said he is looking forward to his second stint with Pune City. “I am excited to don the orange amd purple of FC Pune City again this season. After being a part of this exciting group last season, the decision to continue was as easy as it gets. I am confident that our team will continue from where it finished last season and give Orange Army more reasons to celebrate.”

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