Kochi: As a club that strongly believes in identifying and developing young footballing talents, Kerala Blasters FC is proud to announce that seven promising youngsters from the KBFC Reserve Team will be joining the first team for their Pre-season training in Goa. Coming off the back of an impressive season, Muheet Shabir, Gotimayum Muktasana, Ayush Adhikari, Nongdamba Naorem, Shaiborlang Kharpan, Kenstar Kharshong and Naorem Mahesh will now get a chance to prove themselves worthy of a spot in the first team. Staying true to the club’s philosophy and vision to grow Indian football, basis their performance selected youngsters will be given a chance to be a part of the squad representing Kerala Blasters FC in season 7 of the prestigious Indian Super League (ISL).
Although youth development is a core agenda, the club values player quality as an uncompromisable parameter. The 19 year old Ayush Adhikari, who was sent out on loan to the famed Indian Arrows in the I-League did not disappoint. He made 13 appearances for the side during the 2019-20 season out of which 12 were starts and put on a show with some impressive attacking performances. His standout performance last season was in the 1-0 win over East Bengal. On the same lines, the skillful winger, Nongdamba Naorem had an impressive season at the 2019-20 I-League winning side Mohun Bagan with 2 goals and 5 assists. Under our current Head Coach, Kibu Vicuna, Nongdamba was a mainstay on the left side of the midfield with his silky footwork and burst of speed.
While Shaiborlang Kharpan, Gotimayum Muktasana and Muheet Shabir have been with the reserves over the last few years, Naorem Mahesh and Kenstar Kharshong joined the team on loan last season from Shillong Lajong FC. Owing to their stellar performance last season, the two have signed permanently with the club as part of the Reserve team. The 5 players put in impressive performances in the 2019-20 Kerala Premier League wherein the team emerged Champions of Kerala.
“As a club, we (Kerala Blasters) are very proud of our Youth setup. Nurturing future stars, who will go on to bring numerous laurels to the country and not just to the club has always been the focus of KBFC. We are determined to provide talented quality youngsters a platform to showcase their skills to the Indian Footballing Community. Of 6 ISL seasons, Kerala Blasters has been successful in achieving 3 ISL Emerging talents. This is proof of the commitment the club has towards the growth and development of Indian football. I wish them all our boys the very best, to make use of this great opportunity, fight for their rightful place and show that they are ready to play at the top level when.”, said Mohammed Rafik, Director of Football, Kerala Blasters FC.