From Aitor Monroy to Nick Fitzgerald: Who are the 7 overseas recruits of Jamshedpur FC?

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Jamshedpur FC completed their foreign signings recently. Jamshedpur were in search of an AFC quota player and they signed Nick Fitzgerald, the 28-year-old Australian winger. As Owen Coyle has taken the job of the head coach for upcoming season, fans have kept their expectations pretty high. Coyle comes in with proven track record in England and recently guiding a team where he took Chennaiyin FC to the finals in 2019-20 season, even when they were at the bottom at table in the midseason.

With the mixture of Indian players and foreign players it will be interesting to watch how Jamshedpur performs under the guidance of Owen Coyle. Let’s have a glance at the foreign recruits of Jamshedpur FC –

Aitor Monroy (Midfielder, In a Contract) –

Aitor Monroy
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Monroy was signed by Jamshedpur FC in the summer transfer window before the starting of the 2019-20 Indian Super League season. The 32-year-old Spaniard joined in with the experience of playing over 200 matches in clubs across Europe. He began his professional footballing career with Atletico Madrid ‘C’ team, and later got promoted to the ‘B’ team at the age of 19 years.

Previously, Monroy also played for Israeli club Maccabi Petah Tikva F.C. from 2015 to 2017. Before joining Jamshedpur FC, he played for Internacional de Madrid in Spanish Segunda Division B.

In the 2019-20 ISL season, he made 18 appearances. His presence in midfield saw the balance to the team. He was usually deployed as defensive-midfielder, giving balance to the team and played the role of double-pivot as in front of the back-four or purely as a central midfielder.

David Grande (Winger, In a Contract) –

David Grande
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The 29-year-old Spanish striker holds the solid experience of playing in Segunda Division B which is the 3rd tier of Spanish football. Grande was signed in the winter transfer window of 2019-20 season by the club. Before joining Jamshedpur FC, he represented Unionistas de Salamanca CF where he scored 9 goals in 18 matches.

He made 32 goals in 123 appearances for various clubs like Getafe CF B, CD Lealtad, Granada CF B, SD Ponferradina, and Málaga CF B, all in Segunda B being a regular starter in the squad. His stint with Jamshedpur FC was not too successful as he failed to showcase his goal-scoring ability. But with no doubt, in the upcoming season, he would be a partner with Valskis in attacking position to net the ball into goal surpassing the defenders.

Nerijus Valskis (Striker, Signed from Chennaiyin FC) –

Nerijus Valskis

The skipper of the Lithuanian national team was signed by Chennaiyin FC in 2019. Valskis came into the limelight during his stint with FK Sūduva in A Lyga in the campaign of Lithuanian top-flight league. In the season of 2012-13, he scored 27 goals in 30 league appearances. Due to his unorthodoxly stunning performance, he was crowned as the A Lyga Player of the Year.

He has also plied his trade at clubs in Israel, Belarus, Latvia, Romania and Poland. In the season of ISL 2019-20 with Chennaiyin FC, Valskis scored 15 goals and provided six assists leading the team to finals. He was the Golden Boot winner of ISL season 2019-20. The 33-year-old striker has signed a two-year contract with the club.

Alex Lima (Midfielder, Signed from Ho Chi Minh City FC) –

Alex Lima
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31-year-old Alex Lima was another player who reunited with Head-Coach Owen Coyle. Alex played under the guidance of Coyle at Houston Dynamo in the USA’s Major Soccer League in the season of 2015-16. The attacking-minded midfielder scored 43 times and provided 23 assists in a total of 337 appearances till now.

The Brazilian trained in the youth system of Grêmio Esportivo Mauaense in Brazil. In 2008, he joined FC Wohlen in Switzerland becoming a regular starter for the team. Due to his ability in positional play and in creating chances for strikers, he was signed by the MLS side Chicago Fire in 2012. Later in 2015, he made a switch to Houston Dynamo.

In two consecutive seasons, he represented Suwon FC and FC Anyang back to back in the highly competitive K-League 2 in South Korea from 2018 to 2020. Recently, he was signed by Vietnam side Ho Chi Minh City FC in March till the end of the season where the club didn’t show their interest in keeping him at the club.

Peter Hartley (Centre-Back, Signed from Motherwell FC) –

Peter Hartley

The 32-year-old former Motherwell FC captain Peter Hartley joined the club agreeing on the contract for two-years. He was a Sunderland Academy graduate. He failed to establish himself as a centre-back in the first team. From 2009 to 2017, he represented numerous clubs like Hartlepool United F.C., Stevenage F.C., Plymouth Argyle F.C. and Bristol Rovers F.C. in England.

After joining Blackpool in 2017, he was loaned to Scottish side club Motherwell FC. Due to his astonishing defending skills, he was signed by Motherwell FC. Ahead of the 2018-19 season, Hartley was named as captain of the team replacing Carl McHugh. He possesses special ability in man-to-man marking and zonal defence.

Stephen Eze ( Centre-Back, Signed from Tobol FC) –

Stephen Eze

The 6 feet 6 inches tall Stephen began his career playing at Lobi Stars FC and then made a switch to Sunshine Stars FC in Nigeria itself in 2014. In 2016, he joined Ifeanyi Ubah FC, where he won Nigeria Super Cup in early 2017.

The versatile centre-back had a successful stint in 2018-19 season with PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv in Bulgaria. He won the Bulgarian Cup and also were the runners-up in Bulgarian League.

Stephen has 13 international caps to his name, where he lastly appeared for the national team in May 2018. The 26-year-old, earlier this year, joined Kazakhstan Premier League club FC Tobol. Due to an injury sustained in a pre-season friendly match, he parted ways with the club in a mutual consent. His addition to Jamshedpur FC is crucial as he would be the key man in defence alongside Peter Hartley.

Nicolas Fitzgerald (Winger, Signed for Newcastle Jets) –

Nick Fitzgerald

The 28-year-old Australian winger Fitzgerald made his A-League debut for Central Coast Mariners in 2010 against Wellington Pheonix. In 2011, he joined Brisbane Roar where he featured for 23 matches in two seasons. Later in 2013, he was released by Central Coast Mariners. In the three year span with the club, he made 70 appearances and scored 7 goals.

Being a right-winger, he was also deployed as an inverted winger. Fitzgerald made a move in 2016 to Melbourne Victory which resulted in a successful stint for him as he scored 7 goals and provided 7 assists. At the end of 2018-19 season he was released by the club where again made a move to the A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers.

Recently in 2019, he signed for Newcastle Jets. Being a regular starter for club he played 20 matches throughout the season.

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