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ISL: FC Goa complete signing of defender Nikhil Prabhu

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Goa on Thursday confirmed the signing of defender Nikhil Prabhu.

The defender agreed to a one-and-a-half-year deal with the Gaurs, who will represent and wear its orange colors until the summer of 2024.

“I’m delighted to join FC Goa, a Club that I’ve always admired. I’ve always found Goa’s style of play unique. As a young defender, I want to keep developing my game consistently, and I’m aware of how FC Goa offer youngsters like me ample opportunities to thrive. Hence, when I found out that the Club were interested in me, it was a no-brainer to say yes,” Prabhu said, after signing on the dotted line with the Gaurs.

“Coming from a different system, I want to absorb as much as possible at FC Goa through sessions with my coaches and teammates in order to adapt to the FC Goa way of play as quickly as possible. I would be putting in my 100% to reach this target and be available for my team whenever called upon. I aim to help the club finish in the top-six and hopefully go all the way from there,” he added.

Ravi Puskur, FC Goa’s Director of Football also expressed his thoughts on Nikhil Prabhu’s signing.

“We’re pleased to have gotten Nikhil on board. He’s a promising, young centre-back who is comfortable on the ball and that is something we always look for in the skill-set of our defenders. He’s got a great opportunity to try and establish himself in the FC Goa setup and it’s upon the player now to take this chance and work his way into the coach’s plans,” he said.

Hailing from Maharashtra, Nikhil Prabhu began his footballing career by creating a good impression with the Mumbai FC and Thane FC junior teams. In 2018, he joined the now-defunct Pune City FC’s U18 side. When the franchise shifted base to Hyderabad FC the following year, he was among the players that also joined the new team.

In the 2019-20 season, the 22-year-old made his debut for the Nizams’ Reserves Team in the I-League Second Division, also scoring his maiden goal for the club in the same match against Chennaiyin FC reserves. Two seasons later, he moved to Odisha FC on loan, making his ISL debut in a goalless draw against ATK Mohun Bagan.

Earlier this year, the Juggernauts signed Prabhu on a permanent basis, and he starred in their wins over East Bengal FC and NorthEast United FC in the ongoing 2022-23 league season. In a short time frame itself, the youngster has shown promise and will look to impress as he now joins the Gaurs.