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Pune FC sign academy midfielder Nikhil Kadam
Pune FC confirms signing Under-19 Academy midfielder Nikhil Kadam on a long term commitment.
The decision to draft the Kolhapur-born into the senior squad comes after his impressive show as a Peninsula Pune Football Club Academy (PPFCA) player during the 2011-12 season.
Nikhil, thus, becomes the first PPFCA player to be handed a full contract. The signing also continues Pune FC’s trend of identifying and rewarding Maharashtra talent to brace with the club’s best.
An elated Nikhil said, “Playing professional football was always my childhood dream. The signing fulfills my dream. The aim now is to work harder.”
The 19-year-old is the second footballer from the princely district to play in an I-League squad, apart from being the first at Pune FC.
Pune FC coach Derrick Pereira, says, “We are glad to have Nikhil. He is an excellent player and played a key role in helping Pune FC to the Under-20 I-League title last year.”
“He was one player who made the difference in the Under-19 team. He deserved a place in the seniors and has worked hard enough,” the coach added.
In the current season, Nikhil stood out during Pune FC’s preseason training. “Nikhil showed a lot of promise in preseason when he trained and played practice matches,” the coach said.
In fact, Nikhil already made his debut for Pune FC and has played in three games as a substitute. He twice figured in the Durand Cup (v/s CRPF and Sesa FA) and once in Federation Cup (v/s Salgaocar SC).
Until date, he has completed two seasons at Pune FC. He joined in 2009-10, had a one-year break, before earning his place in the two-year PPFCA youth development set up.
With the left-wing as his preference, Nikhil impressed during the 2011-12 season. He was adjudged ‘Pune FC Best Disciplined Under-19 Player’ and ‘PDFA Best Player – Super Division Award’.
As a junior Nikhil has figured in all age groups tournaments and played at National, state, district and school levels respectively.