Saif Sporting Club build a title-aspirant squad for next season as the newly promoted Bangladesh Premier League outfit roped in five national stalwarts and three foreigners on the penultimate day of the month-long players’ transfer window on Saturday.
Two more teams, last season’s runners-up Chittagong Abahani and Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra also completed their players’ registration formalities on the same day in a festive manner at the Bangladesh Football Federation House.
Saif Sporting Club, who have registered 27 players, signed five national team players - Jamal Bhuiyan, Hemanta Vincent Biswas, Jewel Rana, Tapu Barman and Ariful Islam.
They have also signed three foreigners, Andres Deiner and Balencia Olaya of Colombia and Alvi Fopa of Cameroon.
Saif , who qualified for the BPL after finishing runners-up in last season’s Bangladesh Championship League, kept nine players from their previous squad.
National midfielder Jamal Bhuiyan, who migrated from Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra, believed they have the ability to win all three titles for the forthcoming season.
‘Our target is to win all three titles including the Bangladesh Premier League which would help us play in the next edition of the AFC Cup,’ said the midfielder.
‘We have a squad with the combination of experience and youth, who are eager to prove their best in the field.
‘We have some quality young players like Motin, Al-Amin, Ibrahim and Kabir who, I believe would represent the national team in future.’
The new football powerhouse also appointed Ghanaian origin English coach Kimberley Grunt for the forthcoming season.
Cash-rich Chittagong Abahani also formed a balanced squad for the next season.
The Port City outfit could only manage the Independence Cup title in the last season despite forming a big budget squad.
This time they kept five players from their previous squad including national team captain Mamunul Islam, right-winger Zahid Hossain and goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana.
They have also signed national forward Shakhwat Hossain Rony and midfielder Masuk Miah Jonny from Sheikh Russell KC and Mohammedan respectively.
‘Most of the players in the squad have signed for the first time in our club,’ said team manager Arman Aziz.
‘Last time we didn’t get the deserving result with a big budget team so this time we didn’t go for the stars.’
Meanwhile, Muktijoddha Sangsad, who finished fifth in last season’s BPL, also signed 31 players including three foreigners and several young players in a bid to keep in the championship race alive, said and an optimistic Muktijoddha coach Masud Parvez Kayser.