Pune - Pune Football Club have reinforced their backline by signing up 22-year-old central defender Zohmingliana Ralte ahead of the 2012-13 season.
Ralte, thus provides coach Derrick Perreira an additional option apart from already having Anas Edathodika, Chika Wali and Caitano Costa in defence.
Pune FC Head Operations, Chirag Tanna confirms the signing saying, “We are happy to have Zohmingliana in our midst. His hardworking attitude caught our eye and moreover Pune FC needed a player in defence. I wish him all the best.”
The defender who arrived in Pune on Saturday, joined the team for a session at the gym.
Hailing from Aizawl (Mizoram), Ralte’s strong and sturdy physique has always turned out to be an important factor in helping him be an integral part of the Lajong playing eleven. Though young, he has good experience playing at the highest level which includes two seasons in the I-League and three Federation Cup tournaments.
In 2009-10, Ralte was a Federation Cup finalist in Guwahati, when Pune FC were in the same group as Lajong. Also, Ralte was a Federation Cup semi-finalist in 2011-12, when Lajong lost to eventual champions Salgaocar.
Ralte has featured in five encounters against current club Pune. The five matches include the I-League and Federation Cup (2009-10), IFA Shield (2010-11), I-League (home and away) in 2011-12.
Ralte’s inclusion in Pune FC makes him the second Mizoram player after striker Jeje Lalpekhlua to be in the side for the 2012-13 season.
The defender’s signing thus takes Pune FC’s total squad strength to 26, with just the Asian player quota to be filled up.