Bhaichung Bhutia has roped in two teammates from Team India - Renedy Singh and N S Manju to play alongside him for the United Sikkim Football Club (USFC).
USFC has signed 30 players (four foreigners, 11 from Sikkim, one from Darjeeling and others from different parts of the country), who are presently undergoing training in Kolkata under coach Stanley Rozario, Bhutia, who is also director of USFC told a press conference here last evening.
USFC would play the second division of the I-League this season and the team will be led by Renedy Singh as captain, Bhutia, who will also wear the USFC jersey said.
Bhutia said the club is aiming to qualify for the first division of the I-League within 3 years, but added that he is confident about USFC to qualify for the first division in its first attempt this season itself.
He disclosed that Nike will sponsor the club this season and said that the objective of the USFC is to revive the love for football and sports in the state so that the local people did not only talk about the football and games, but also participated more in sporting activities.
"We aim to promote football in the entire north-eastern region as brand ambassadors based in Sikkim," he stressed. The club will be trained by four experienced coaches and has many more big surprises in store for the people in coming days, Bhutia said..
He also said that he plans to stay in Sikkim more permanently from June onwards.
The Indian captain said that he has met the Sikkim Chief Minister, who has given a positive response to his proposal to start a football academy in Sikkim and even provided the required land in south district.
Renedy Singh, who has been signed for four months, said that the club has huge potential and now needs the support of the local people.
The second division of I-league has a total of 21 teams, two of whom will qualify for the main I-League scheduled to start in October this year.