Mumbaikar Raynier joins Odisha FC on loan

“I realised that this is the real deal, and I cannot afford to take anything lightly, and I have to work hard,”

said Raynier in an interview with Goal.com

If you look at Raynier’s brief career in professional football, the 26-year-old Mumbaikar has achieved an ISL trophy and shield, played the AFC Champions League, achieved several accolades in the I-League and junior leagues. Within a few years, the journey from local football to the highest level is nothing short of a fairytale. In a recent development, Raynier signed a one-year loan contract with Odisha FC, making it his second ISL team. 

“I can’t wait to interact with my team members, management, and fans. I received overwhelming messages from all of them and I am excited to start the journey,” said Raynier, in a recorded video.

Raynier’s introduction to football happened while watching his elder brother play for Kenkre FC. In fact, Raynier’s passion for football led him to switch his school. “I changed my school and went to Don Bosco, Matunga in the seventh grade because at Salvation the level of football was not as high as it was in Bosco’s. From there, everything went well, and we won many championships at the school level,” said he. 

He started his professional career at Companeroes FC, a reputed team in the Mumbai Football Association. From there, he received a call from the Air India U-19 team. 

“I played under Shyam Sawant for one year, and the next season itself, the senior team coach Godfrey Pereira offered me a contract to play with the senior team. That was a moment of happiness,” continued Raynier. 

Air India Team member From (L)- Neil Gaikwad, Raynier Fernandes, Captain Vijith Shetty with runners up trophy

After a series of laudable performances, in 2017-18, Raynier got his break. He signed for Mohun Bagan. Raynier debuted for the Kolkata giants in the Calcutta Football League (CFL). Within a season, he won the Sikkim Gold Cup and finished runner-up in CFL, Federation Cup, and the I-League. 

His next destination was Mumbai City FC. Former Head Coach Jorge Costa put his trust on the young man. Since then, he has made 70 appearances for the Islanders and has proven to be a vital cog. He clinched the ISL title in 2019-20 and played in Asia’s top-most league – the AFC Champions League. 

In 2019, Raynier debuted for the Indian national team in the King’s Cup in Thailand. He was subbed on during the second half against Curacao. He made three appearances for India.

The upcoming season will be a crucial time for the youngster to clock minutes and prove his mettle to receive regular calls from the national side.

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Also, Read Ambernath United – Atlanta FC ride on Himanshu Patil brace to beat Mumbai Customs 3-0

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