Defender Anas signs 2-year extension at Pune FC

Pune, May 23: Pune FC central defender Anas Edathodika Thursday signed a two-year extension at the football club.

Anas’s decision to stay back comes after spending the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons successfully at the Club.

The 26-year-old Kerala-born defender helped his side earn the distinction of third best in conceding goals in the recently concluded I-League. Pune let-in 26 goals.

Pune FC’s head of operations Chirag Tanna said: “Anas has been instrumental for us in last season’s campaign. He is a gritty customer and plays with a lot of passion. Everyone at Pune FC wishes Anas continued success with the club.”

During the season, Anas played all 26 games in the I-League figuring as a first eleven member in 26 games and came off as a substitute only once to clock a staggering 2,326 minutes.

The defender also started two games in Durand Cup, three in Federation Cup and one in the IFA Shield respectively.

Anas’s emergence as a solid defender also won him two awards at the season-ending annual awards night. He picked up the “Man of Steel” award for his consistency and was adjudged “Player of the Year 2013,” making him the first Indian to bag the honour at Pune FC.

Having sealed a contract until the end of 2014-15 season, the Mallapuram-based Anas has time and again voiced his love for Pune as a city.

“I am delighted to continue. Pune FC is a one-of-its-kind club based in a city that is so passionate about the game and I owe my decision to extend my stay to all my fans. Thank you for the love shown on and off the field.”

Having played his best season in his professional career so far, Anas has now set his sights on the national team and hopes the opportunity arrives sooner than later.

“I now look forward with determination to play better, stronger and ambitiously during my stay here,” Anas added.

IANS