Bharat FC snap up Dharamaraj Ravanan on a season-long loan
With the 2015 Hero I-League season approaching, Bharat FC took an important step towards beefing up their defence, adding experienced defender Dharmaraj Ravanan to the squad. The 27-year-old Ravanan joins Bharat FC from ISL franchise FC Pune City on a season-long loan. Bharat FC kick-off their campaign against Dempo SC on the 24th of January at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Mhalunge-Balewadi.
Born in Tamil Nadu in the industrial town of Neyveli, 27-year-old Ravanan started his professional footballing career with the Chennai-based Indian Bank FC. Having been noticed in a local tournament in Bangalore by then Dempo coach Armando Colaco, he was signed up by the Goan team for the 2005-06 season. The following season he moved to Kolkata, joining up with Mohun Bagan AC before moving to Mumbai the following season to ply his trade for Mahindra United. The centre-back, who can also be deployed on the flanks in a defensive role spent three seasons with Mahindra United, racking up impressive showings before moving back to Goa, this time opting to play for Churchill Brothers SC.
It was at Churchill Brothers SC that Ravanan made a name for himself. Partnering a host of foreigners in central defence, Ravanan managed to impress with his steady nature of play and his composure at the heart of defence. Anointed club-captain for the 2012-13 season, the Tamil Nadu lad put in a spectacular showing, making 25 appearances over the season as Churchill Brothers SC clinched the I-League title. The very next year, he won the 2014 Federation Cup, again donning the captain’s armband for his side. The 27-year-old was also a very integral cog in the FC Pune City side in the ISL, playing all 14 matches for his team.
Kunal Agarwal, Director Bharat FC, said that Ravanan’s experience of playing in the I-League and his reputation as a calm defender would help the side immensely. “We are really happy to have signed such a decorated player in Dharmaraj Ravanan. He has played a high standard of football, has shown that he can take up a leadership role effectively and is a super centre-back. We are sure the team will benefit immensely from having a player of Ravanan’s caliber,” he said.
Bharat FC’s head-coach Stuart Watkiss, said that he had followed the defender closely in the ISL and was impressed by the way he went about his business. “Ravanan’s biggest strength is that he is a very steady defender. He does not panic, does not hoof the ball up –front wildly. He is assured on the ball and assertive in the air. I want my team to keep its shape at all times and Ravanan is a player who can help us do that,” said Watkiss.
Ravanan for his part said that the chance to work with a top-quality coaching staff and to play with a number of seasoned Indian players was why he agreed to the move. “Bharat FC has managed to assemble a really competitive outfit in such a short time. When I saw the coaching staff, the facilities and the exposure that we as players would get by being at this club, it didn’t really take me long to sign on the dotted line,” he said.