FC Pune City signs midfielder Shankar Sampingiraj and forward Gabriel Fernandes

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FC Pune City signs midfielder Shankar Sampingiraj and forward Gabriel Fernandes

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SportsCafe Desk

07/09/2018

Finishing in a decent fourth spot in ISL last season FC Pune City continued building their squad with the signings of Gabriel Fernandes and Shankar Sampingiraj. While experienced Gabriel comes from I-league giants East Bengal, Shankar has been promising in Bengaluru FC's U-23 side.

The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City today signed winger Gabriel Fernandes and defensive midfielder Shankar Sampingiraj to strengthen their squad for the 2018-19 season.

Gabriel who last played for East Bengal in the I-League enters Indian Super League with FC Pune City after a gap of two years. Speaking on signing the Goan winger, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Gabriel’s speed and agility on the wings gives the team good options. We know with his sharpness and direct play, he has the potential to be one of the standout players for us this season.”

Fernandes started his youth career with Dempo and Sporting Goa. In 2012, he joined Mumbai FC. The 30-year old made his ISL debut with FC Goa in 2014 and joined Mumbai City FC in the next season. Since then, the winger has played in I-League for Salgaocar, Churchill Bros and East Bengal.

Sampingiraj comes in to the FC Pune City fold after having an impressive outing for Bengaluru FC leading upto a national call for the U-23 side. The Karnataka born began his professional career with HAL and later signed with Pailan Arrows followed by a stint at DSK Shivajians (on loan). After getting the young midfielder’s signature, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Shankar is a hard-working player, who is good on the ball and is technically sound, which adds a lot of quality in the way that we want to play our football. He comes with a lot of experience and I wish he has a great season in our colours.”

Sampingiraj made his India U23 debut against Uzbekistan in a 2016 AFC U23 qualifier in Bangladesh. The young midfielder appeared for Kerala Blasters FC in 2015 ISL season.  

After signing the dotted line, Gabriel said, “It’s exciting times for me ahead as I join FC Pune City to play in the Indian Super League. What they achieved last season has been pretty impressive and part of my responsibility will be to help the team better what they did last year.”

Excited to join the squad Shankar expressed, “I am thrilled to take up this new challenge along with FC Pune City. The club’s run last season was pretty good and I couldn’t resist joining their setup that has given many youth players like me a stage to excel. I look forward to meeting my new teammates to begin a new chapter in my career with the club.”

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