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Portuguese trio sign for Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Mezdra

Academica players to try their luck in Eastern Europe

MezdraNewly promoted Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Mezdra have boosted their squad by signing three Portuguese players, ahead of the new campaign.

Forwards Fausto Lourenco and Rui Miguel, as well as midfielder David Silva, all arrive at the Lokomotiv Stadium from Academica, in order to help last season’s B Group champions in their first season in the country’s top flight.

“I am very pleased,” said Rui Miguel, who joins from Academica, via a two-year loan spell with Tourizense. “I’ve already been over there to do a medical and sign the contract. It is a well organised club. I want to do well to show that I have the ability to play in the Portuguese league.”

Miguel, 24, went on to bemoan the increasing presence of foreign players in Portugal, which is leading many of the country’s young footballers to continue their career abroad.

The forward was given just three first team appearances at Academica after coming through the ranks, scoring in one, before being farmed out on loan to second tier outfit Tourizense.

It is a similar story for fellow striker Fausto Jorge Dias Lourenco, known as ‘Fausto’ who was in the Porto academy before moving on to Academica, where he also only managed a handful of appearances.

Drulovic connection

The 21-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan in the lower leagues, first joining Rui Miguel at Tourizense, who are managed by former Porto winger Ljubinko Drulovic, and then last season with Anadia.

David Mendes Silva, a 21-year-old attacking midfielder, makes the same move, via Academica, where the Coimbra native came through the ranks, and then had a loan spell at Tourizense last year.

Known as ‘The Irons’, Lokomotiv Mezdra have spent much of their recent history in the second and third tiers of Bulgarian football. Their stadium seats 6,000 spectators and the club’s colours are red and black.

The three new arrivals join an ever-increasing number of Portuguese to have made the move to Bulgaria in recent years. Former Nacional striker Jose Rui was a title winner with champions CSKA Sofia last year.

24 June 2008, by Sean Gillen

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