Football-Players change allegiance in busy off-season


ALLY … St Michel’s new recruitThe top division starts today with last year’s Barclays league division two champions The Lions meeting Anse Reunion who have been eliminated by Kenyan outfit Gor Mahia on a 0-5 aggregate score (0-0 away and 0-5 at Stad Linite) in the preliminaries of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Confederation Cup and 0-2 losers to St Michel in the President’s Cup.

Coached by Gavin Jeanne, The Lions have reinforced their squad with Malagasy Antonio Rakotoarinosy, Gino Agathine (from St Michel), last year’s best young player Laurent (from St John Bosco), striker Yannick Charlette (from St Louis Suns), Dean Bristol (from St Roch), Gavin Domingue (from Au Cap) and Ivan Sanders (from St Louis Suns).

As for Anse Reunion, they have only brought in Vinol Mussard from La Passe Youth after losing influential Malagasy midfielder Hassan Ally to St Michel who have had by far the flashiest deal to up their squad quality.

With Ralph Jean-Louis back as coach, Anse Aux Pins-based St Michel have also acquired young central defender Yannick Manoo (from St Francis), Francis Nourrice (from Foresters), wing back Patrick Bonne (from St Roch), and Daniel Maillet (from Northern Dynamo).

Manoo played for the St Michel youth team before joining St Francis, while Nourrice had a short spell with St Michel before moving back to Foresters last year. Hassan Ally has already proven to be a good buy for St Michel in recent matches as he has teamed up well with fellow Malagasies Jean Del’Or Tsaralaza and Jimmy Radafison.

Northern Dynamo have welcomed back Damien Tamboo from St Louis Suns and added another four players – Steven Télémaque (from St Roch), Marty Fanny (from SMB), Terrence Antat (from St Roch) and Charles De Clarisse (from Quincy) – to their roster.

Although they have acquired new players, Northern Dynamo have lost no-nonsense defender Steve Henriette to St Louis Suns who will be trying to make up for the many seasons that ended without a trophy.

Henriette will team up with tall defender Nigel Henriette in central defence and coach Michel Renaud and assistant Patrick Cafrine will rely on them to marshal the team’s rearguard. Freminot has been acquired from defending champions St Michel and the other three recruits are Yannick Julie (from SMB) and Farinirina Rakotohavymana and Clariel Rakotondramina (from Madagascar).

St Louis Suns will have the opportunity to test how good they are on Saturday at 4.30pm at Stad Linite when they play St Michel who are out of the Caf Champions League after losing 1-7 (1-4 at Stad Linite and 0-3 away) on aggregate score against Kenya’s Tusker in the preliminaries.

La Passe will be at home on Saturday when they hosts Northern Dynamo and their fans will get the chance to see how well their team have been preparing in the offseason and if the new players have gelled with the team’s playing strategy.

Rick Bibi and Melvin Uranie are back with La Passe after playing for two seasons with Praslin side Côte d’Or, while Laurel Ladouce (from St John Bosco) and Fabien Albert (from LightStars) have joined the team who finished as runners-up to St Michel last year.

Despite losing Albert to La Passe, Praslin-based LightStars have welcomed Lenny Alcindor, Barnsley Esther, José Jean, Wells Jean, Glenny Jessy, James Alcindor and Michel Oreddy from the defunct Beginners also of Praslin.

Reigning Airtel Cup winners Côte d’Or, who were third in the league and losing finalists in the Land Marine Cup last year, have added two strikers – Marcus Labiche (from St Michel) and Rennick Esther (from La Passe) – to their ranks.

Labiche played for St Michel last year and did not impress after making a name for himself in 2011 in a La Passe shirt, while Esther left LightStars in 2012 for La Passe and was a regular scorer for them.

Defender Gervais Samynadin (Foresters), midfielder Bernard St Ange (Au Cap) and Gerard Basset (SMB) are the other three players Malagasy coach Asman Abdou has chosen to reinforce his squad.

Baie Lazare-based St Francis have brought in two young Diguois – Adrian Constance and Ian Ah-kong – from La Passe Youth, along with Stephen Léon (from Tigers) and Dean Vidot (Au Cap) to give them a push in the top flight this year.

Steven Domingue, Jason Fred, Darren Barbé, Achille Henriette, Julius Herminie (all from the defunct Quincy who were relegated from the first division at the end of last season), and former Seychelles striker Alpha Baldé are expected to deliver the goods for St Roch this season.

G. G.