ISL: Yumnam Raju, Sanju Pradhan head to FC Pune City
The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Hrithik Roshan co-owned Indian Super League club FC Pune City signed left back Yumnam Raju and winger Sanju Pradhan for the 2016 edition of the league. Raju and Pradhan, both played for NorthEast United FC in the last season.
FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Pradhan has shone at every stage of his career and has the versatility and pace to match the best in the country; he will be a good addition to our attacking third. Whereas Raju is a solid and dependable defender. His focus and dedication is exemplary and he has a modest approach of a player who wants to give his best to the team.”
The 26-year old Raju made his professional debut with Churchill Bros in 2011. In his stint with the Goan outfit, the Manipur-born player has an I-League title and a Federation Cup win under his belt. He also scored a goal in AFC Cup match Singapore club Home United FC.
Pradhan, on the other hand, has won two Federation Cups representing East Bengal, ISL title with Atletico De Kolkata in 2014 and also was a part of 2012 Nehru Cup winning Indian team. From East Bengal, he shifted base to Dempo and subsequently to Salgaocar. The midfield dynamo played for North East United FC in ISL last season after a title-winning stint with Atletico De Kolkata in 2014.
Head coach Antonio Habas felt the team’s shaping up well with the signings made so far. “Raju adds teeth to the defence line. He's strong, he's excellent in the tackle and he's very good technically. Pradhan on the other hand is a very talented player. He’s calm, focused and dedicated. He’s well-accepted and loved by his partners.”
Both Raju and Pradhan were looking forward to joining FC Pune City. “It’s going to be a new beginning for me and am pretty excited to work with coach Habas and new teammates,” said Raju. Pradhan who will play under Habas again said, “I was a part of title-winning team with coach Habas in the first season and will join some of my former colleagues here at FC Pune City. It’s a challenge that I am most looking forward to.”
Co-owner and Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan welcomed the youngsters. “The skills and high work rate both Raju and Pradhan bring will be invaluable to the team. Under the guidance of coach, both Raju and Pradhan will continue to grow and hone their skills further.”