BFC retain Nishu, Malsawmzuala

BFC retain Nishu, Malsawmzuala

 Continuing their efforts to rebuild the squad for the upcoming season, Bengaluru FC have retained two promising youngsters -- midfielder Malsawmzuala and defender Nishu Kumar -- till the end of the 2017-18 season.

The duo make the grade for the ‘under-21 uncapped players’ slot for the Indian Super League. BFC also retained India International striker Daniel Lalhlimpuia and he will feature in the Blues’ AFC Cup campaign.

While the Inter-Zonal semifinal against North Korean side 4.25 SC is up next in the 2017 AFC Cup for runners-up Bengaluru FC, they will also be playing in the 2018 edition of the competition having sealed qualification courtesy the Federation Cup triumph in May.

Malsawmzuala, Nishu and Lalhlimpuia signed for BFC from AIFF’s Elite Academy in November 2015 and have gone on to play crucial roles over the last two seasons. They combined for a total of 30 appearances in the last edition of the I-League.

Muzzafarnagar-born Nishu had a breakthrough season with the highlight being a goal against Bangladeshi-side Abahani Dhaka in the AFC Cup. The youngster’s impressive performances also caught the eye of the Indian coach Stephen Constantine who called him to the national team as he was voted the Blues’ Most Improved Player of 2016-17 season.

Malsawmzuala was voted the Blues’ Most Improved Player of 2015-16 season while Lalhlimpuia has been capped at the senior level for India.

“These boys have been an important part of our team for the last two seasons and we’re delighted to have them with us as we head into a new chapter in our Club’s history,” said head coach  Albert Roca. “Considering the rules of the ISL, we could only retain Nishu and Malsawmzuala for the league, given that Daniel has become a full India International. But we don’t want to lose him out as he forms a vital part of our plans. His contribution will be immense in not just this year’s AFC Cup campaign, but the one in the following year as well.”

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