ISL 2016: Defending Champions Chennayin FC renew contracts with three players
Goalkeeper Karanjit and midfielder Thoi were bought by Chennaiyin in season two during the player auctions while Wadoo joined Chennaiyin on a free transfer after playing for FC Pune City in the inaugural ISL campaign.
Karanjit proved to be a great understudy for ISL 2015 Golden Glove winner Apoula Edel Bete as the Punjabi goalkeeper won the Emerging Player Award on his first two ISL appearances with the penalty save in the 1-1 draw with Kerala Blasters being the highlight.
Thoi started in 16 of Chennaiyin’s 17 matches, providing three assists and he made the most successful tackles (71) in the league. The Manipuri midfielder’s work rate and consistency also won him as many as five individual awards.
Wadoo was undoubtedly one of the most consistent defenders of ISL 2015 and was ranked third in the category of most blocks. The Kashmiri’s solidity and experience at right back brought a huge improvement in Chennaiyin’s defending in the second season compared to the first and it was his long ball that brought the equaliser against FC Goa in the dramatic final, which CFC won 3-2.
“Thoi, Wadoo and Karanjit played important roles in our success last season. We are happy to have them back for our title defence,” said Chennaiyin FC head coach Marco Materazzi.
After the ISL, Karanjit and Wadoo had loan stints at Goan clubs Salgaocar and Sporting Clube respectively. Karanjit inspired Salgaocar to survival while Wadoo played his part in Sporting’s fourth-placed finish.
“I would like to thank Chennaiyin for showing faith in me again. I gave my best whenever I got a chance to play last season and this year I am going to work even harder to make Chennaiyin champions again,” said Karanjit.
“Being at Chennaiyin was like being with a family. I enjoyed my stint last season both on and off the field and so I am delighted to have renewed with them again. I would like to thank Marco and the owners for giving me another chance at Chennaiyin and my aim will be to perform even better than last season,” Wadoo stated.
Thoi was on loan at Bengaluru FC after ISL 2015 and he went on to win his second I-League title to cap off a memorable season.
“I am delighted to sign an extension with Chennaiyin. The coach, owners, staff and fans supported me a lot and that brought the best out of me. However there is plenty of room for improvement so I have to raise my game further and help keep the trophy in Chennai for another year,” said Thoi.