Federation Cup and National Football League champions Mahindra United signed on board Canadian-born Brazilian Anthony (Tony) Santos Menezes, their third foreign player for the 2006-07 season in the presence of media persons at a function at the Mahindra Towers, Worli on Friday afternoon.
After completing the official signing, Allan Durante, president, Mahindra United, presented the team jersey (No. 8) to Tony. He also presented jersey (No. 10) to Ghanaian Yusif Yakubu, who was the clubs highest scorer with eight goals in last year's NFL, and jersey (No. 9) to their other new foreign recruit Portuguese striker Filippe Azavedo.
The 31-yr-old player, who has the ability to play as a midfielder and defender, would certainly provide coach Derrick Pereira more options for the gruelling matches in the Durand Cup, Federation Cup, NFL and the AFC Cup matches.
Tony has had the honour of playing for the Canadian national team earning 27 caps while playing against the likes of Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and the United States of America.
Tony has also played top club competition in three continents. He represented Brazilian Division-I side Botafogo, Chinese side Ganzu and in North America for the Toronto Lynx.
Durante informed that since Tony, who arrived on Thursday, was not keeping too well due to the long flight from Brazil and the change of weather will not play the first match in the Durand Cup on Sunday. "Tony has been running a temperature and he won't play on Sunday as we want to give him some rest to recover," said Durante. "He is expected to join action in the next round."
"With the inclusion of Tony we have a very impressive line-up. We will do well in the domestic circuit and look forward to another rewarding season. But, I hope they do better in the AFC Cup."
Tony said that he was happy to be associated with the champion club. "Mahindra United is the best team in India and I'm proud to be part of the team," said Tony, who had already had a brief session with the club last month.
On his experience with the club Tony said, "There is a professional attitude at this club which governs the functioning right up to the president. Also I found the team to be a tight knit bunch and bound like a family."
"I want to play with all my strength and give my best performance for Mahindra United and help them to win many more trophies."
Tony is eager to get down to business, but said that he will have to wait for some time. "I hope to recover quickly and hope Mahindra make progress in the Durand Cup so that I can get a chance to play, maybe from the semifinals."