FC Bengaluru United have retained 13 players ahead of the 2021-22 domestic season. FC Bengaluru United, the BDFA Super Division champions, will be keen to carry forward the momentum as they launch their bid to qualify for the I-League in September.
Among the retained players are some notable names, including attacking midfielder Hayden Fernandes and Arun N, who was adjudged the best midfielder in the 2019-20 BDFA Super Division.
Ronaldo Oliveira, who top scored for the club in the recently concluded BDFA Super Division League, has also been retained. Long-time FC Bengaluru United goalkeeper Srijith Ramesh has also been retained.
FC Bengaluru United targets I-League
Gaurav Manchanda, owner of FC Bengaluru United, said the club’s integral focus this year is to qualify for the I-League.
"We have always been clear and focused on our goal - to bring Bengaluru back to the I-League. We are thankful to all the players who have played an integral role in the journey thus far. Continuity plays a key role in building a robust team structure and we are glad we have the core strength to ensure this going forward into the new season.”
Attacking midfielder Hayden Fernandes, Arun N and Ronaldo Oliveira were happy to be retained and said they were excited to work with experienced players and head coach Richard Hood to elevate the team to the I-League.
FC Bengaluru United head coach Richard Hood said the players who have been retained were on the basis of their performances. He added they had been retained by keeping in mind the club’s game model. He explained:
“Since last October last year, all decisions have been made keeping in mind the upcoming qualifiers. We immensely value and respect the contributions of the players who have not been able to continue with us. The BDFA Super Division was a crucial platform to assess our squad for strengths and gaps - and the retained players have displayed the qualities to build on our game model with which we want to secure competitive success and promotion to the I-League.”
List of 13 players retained by FC Bengaluru United
1. Srijith Ramesh – Goalkeeper
2. Kunzang Bhutia – Goalkeeper
3. Robin Gurung – Defender
4. Anup L – Defender
5. Brandon Green – Defender
6. Asraf Mondal – Defender
7. Asrar Rehbar – Midfielder
8. Hayden Fernandes – Midfielder
9. Arun N – Midfielder
10. Jaison Vaz – Striker
11. Ronaldo Oliveira – Striker
12. Naro Shrestha – Striker
13. Chelston Pinto -- Defender