It was a guarded secret, so to say, with the team list presenting, among other names, one Cyd Gray in the launch of the Ashok Piramal Group-backed Pune FC.
Gray, incidentally, happens to be a 2006 FIFA World Cupper.
To many Cyd Gray was like any regular signing for the I-league. But a closer look revealed that Gray was part of the Trinidad and Tobago team in all three preliminary round matches of the finals in Germany. They registered a goalless draw against Sweden in their opening match, and held mighty England goalless for eighty minutes before losing 2-0. T&T lost their final match 0-2 to Paraguay.
Having roped in the services of the 32-year-old defender, Gray undoubtedly becomes biggest signing of the I-League so far. While details about his signing amount was unclear, it was given to understand that the Gray is on a five-month loan to the club.
Gray, as reports from T&T suggest, was one of the only two local-based World Cup players in T&T who did not secure a foreign contract and always wanted to go out. In March of 2007 Gray had one trial in England with Gillingham during Jabloteh’s pre-season in which he returned empty handed, so when the Pune FC offer came along he grabbed it with open arms.
Gray, who was part of T&T Pro League Champions Clico San Juan Jabloteh (Kings) campaign in 2007 and signed for the 2008 season will showcase his worth during Pune FC’s first assignment in the Kalinga Cup at Orissa on Thursday.
Gray, after getting his international transfer certificate, landed here on Friday and is yet to get into a full training.
It is learnt that Gray, unlike the rest of the players who would be travelling by train, will be flying to Orissa for Pune FC’s assignment. As coach Andrew Hall put’s it, “He’s exhausted and I guess deserves rest.”