Central defender Pratik Chaudhari renews contract with Mumbai FC

Central defender Pratik Chaudhari (right) signs the new contract with Mumbai FC in front of the Vice-President Atul Badgamia.

Mumbai, December 24: Pratik Chaudhari, who was a pivotal member of Mumbai FC’s squad last season, has extended his contract and will once again don the yellow jersey this season. The defender came into focus with strong performances at the back with Mumbai in the I-League last season and was also part of the Kerala Blasters squad in the Indian Super League 2016, helping the southern outfit reach the final of the tournament.

The 27-year-old made 13 I-League appearances for the Mumbaikars in 2015-16 and was part of the Mohun Bagan squad that won the I-League in 2014-15.

Pratik was ecstatic to be back after signing the extension as he said, “It feels good to be back. Mumbai is my home. I was born and brought up here, and it feels great to be playing for my city.”

The defender underlined the ambitions he has for Mumbai this season, “We finished 5th last season and we want to go a step further and fight for the top spot. We have a new coach to guide us. I am really looking forward to the upcoming season.”

Expect some crunching tackles and smart defending as Pratik forms part of the backline. With the I-League only two weeks away, Pratik Chaudhari will be slotted straight into training with the current squad.

Meanwhile, seasoned winger and dead-ball specialist Steven Dias has also agreed to extend his contract with the Mumbai club.

Steven Dias has been part of Mumbai’s pre-season campaign, playing in the Mumbai Elite Division League as well as the DSK Cup, in the past few weeks as the club prepares for the upcoming I-League campaign.

Earlier in the week, Mumbai FC added Laxmikant Kattimani, a top-level goalkeeper to their roster. The 27-year-old Goan-born custodian comes to the Mumbai team with loads of experience and would certainly add plenty of depth, especially at the back to the Mumbai outfit.

The Goan comes with a plenty of experience as was in charge of tending the citadel for Dempo SC in the I-League since 2008. He also wore the goalkeeper’s gloves for FC Goa under the guidance of Brazilian legend Zico during the Indian Super League.

The tally well-built goalkeeper also has major honours under his belt, being part of the I-League winning Dempo squad in 2009-10 and 2011-12. As a youngster, Kattimani trained under Brazilian goalkeeper Rogerio Ramos and went on to represent India at both under-19 and under-23 levels.