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'We owe it to the fans for a better showing next season', Mumbai City FC's Raynier Fernandes outlines ambitions after signing contract extension | ISL 2019-20

  • Mumbai City FC fell agonisingly short of the ISL play-offs as they finished the season in 5th place.
  • Raynier also urged people to exercise caution during the coronavirus pandemic.
EXPERT COLUMNIST
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Modified 14 Apr 2020, 19:28 IST
Raynier Fernandes signed an extension which would keep him at the club till 2023
Raynier Fernandes signed an extension which would keep him at the club till 2023

On the 14th of April 2020, Mumbai City FC announced that Raynier Fernandes had signed a contract extension which would keep him at the ISL club till 2023.

The midfielder, who had turned out for Air India and Mohun Bagan before being acquired by the Islanders in 2018, is only 24 years old and could play a crucial role for the side in the upcoming seasons. In fact, Bimal Parekh, the co-owner of the club expressed similar sentiments.

"He has his best years ahead of him and we're confident he can go on to become an important player, not just for Mumbai City FC but for the Indian team as well,” he said.

Raynier also seemed delighted at having penned down the extension.

“I have been fortunate to learn so much and be surrounded with fantastic people here. I believe we have a lot more to achieve and I hope we can create some great memories together here at Mumbai City FC,” Raynier quipped.

Throughout the 2019-20 campaign, the Indian represented a sound option in midfield for the Islanders. Across the campaign, Raynier racked up 744 minutes and even popped up with a solitary goal and a couple of assists. 

However, rather unfortunately for the club, they fell agonisingly short of the playoffs as they finished the league stages in fifth spot. Yet, the Indian maintained that that particular aspect hadn’t deterred the squad and that they were gearing up for what lay ahead.

“I am glad that I could extend my stay here at Mumbai City. I believe that we have plenty more to achieve as a club but I know that we're on the right path. Last season ended for us in a way we really didn't expect it to and I feel that we owe it to the fans with a better showing next season. All of us are looking forward to the next season,” Raynier told Sportskeeda.

Unfortunately, though, unforeseen circumstances across the globe have meant that the world has come to a standstill in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic. And, the midfielder took time out to express his gratitude towards the health care professionals.

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“With everything that is going on around us and, in the world, it is tough to think about football. We want to thank all the medical and health care professionals who have been working ever so hard in this battle against the Coronavirus, not just in Mumbai or India but all across the globe,” Raynier commented.

Additionally, he talked about how each team member was prioritising the fitness routines given to them by the team management in order to keep themselves in exemplary shape physically. 

Furthermore, Raynier aacknowledged the fact that everyone currently finds themselves in an uncomfortable situation due to the prevailing circumstances in the world.

However, he was quick to emphasize that regardless of the circumstances, it was imperative that they remained positive and adhered to protocol.

“I'm really taking this time to be with my family. When we are playing, we're away from home on most days and this is something we dearly miss. I want to urge everyone to maintain protocol. Staying at home and practicing social distancing will not only help you but probably thousands around you in your community. Let's be responsible and play our part in this fight,” the Indian added.

With Raynier tied down to a long-term contract, it would be interesting to see how Mumbai City FC line up in 2020-21. The prospective signing of Ahmed Jahouh, who is also reportedly on the verge of signing on the dotted line, makes things even more intriguing.

For now, though, the Islanders are keeping themselves safe and following the instructions laid out by the health care professionals, something that remains the need of the hour.   

Published 14 Apr 2020, 19:28 IST
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