New I-League entrant Bharat FC fortified their backline further by adding experienced Jammu and Kashmir defender Mehrajuddin Wadoo to their squad today.
Wadoo, who has already joined the club's pre-season training camp, is on loan from Indian Super League side FC Pune City for the 2014-15 season, a media release from the Kalyani Group-owned Bharat FC said today.
Bharat FC will be playing their inaugural I-League season, which kicks off on January 17.
The 30-year-old, who can play across the backline but was used as a right-back by his ISL side, comes to Bharat FC after a successful season during which he made 10 appearances for FC Pune, earning praise for his work-rate and willingness to push up the field to help out in the attacking third.
Wadoo, who hails from Srinagar, is also credited with popularising football in the Kashmir Valley.
One of the first footballers from the state to earn a professional contract, Wadoo has plied his trade with some of top Indian clubs, including Sporting Clube de Goa, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Salgaocar and Mohammedan Sporting He has also represented the country on 31 occasions and has scored two goals for India, including the winner in the 2005 SAFF Cup final against Bangladesh in Karachi.
Wadoo has been part of Nehru Cup triumphs in 2007 and 2009 apart from being in the Indian squad that won the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup.
Bharat FC's head-coach Stuart Watkiss said he had been impressed by Wadoo's awareness and willingness to play in multiple positions during the ISL.
"Mehraj is a fantastic player. He has a lot of experience and we can use that same experience as we look to build a strong, cohesive unit. He has been a rock for his Super League side during the ISL and we hope he transfers that same form with us here at Bharat FC," he said.
Wadoo himself said that working with an experienced backroom staff and the idea of creating something from scratch was what attracted him towards Bharat FC.
"The club is young but the ideas that we want to work on are great. Training sessions are very interesting, the coaching staff is bringing a lot of new exciting ideas in and I think moving to Bharat FC was the right decision for me as far as my own career is concerned," he said.
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Updated Date: Dec 29, 2014 21:35:28 IST