Bengaluru, September 23: Local boy Mohamed Ali will stay with Indian Super League (ISL) outfit FC Goa after the defender put pen to paper on a new two-year deal that will keep with the Gaurs till 2022.
Goan native Ali becomes the third Gaurs player to sign an extension in this ISL off-season following Edu Bedia and Lenny Rodrigues.
Initially picked in the 10th round of the 2017 ISL Player Draft, the 28-year-old made 24 appearances for FC Goa, helping the team reach the play-offs in each of the three seasons he figured in.
The Caranzalem-born sounded upbeat after signing the new deal, "The last three years have been an amazing journey. FC Goa is more than just a club for me. It's a family. It's a way of living, representing the very essence of Goa and the way we want to play football," Ali told the club website.
FC Goa finished as group toppers of ISL last season by virtue of which they became the first Indian club to make the cut for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.
Ali is quite excited to be part of the AFC campaign.
"We're on the way up and the next season is going to be another big challenge. We'll be fighting not only for the ISL crown, but also in the AFC Champions League - representing India.
"As a player, I feel that there's a lot of room for improvement from my end. I had no doubt that this was the option for me going forward. This new contract shows the kind of faith the club has on its players and I want to repay that.
"The challenge for me will be to win a regular starting place in the side and I'm very much up for that. I really can't wait for the new season to begin."
FC Goa's Director of Football, Ravi Puskar sounded equally delighted at seeing Ali stay with the Gaurs.
"We've always put a focus on providing the Goan boys with a platform on which they can shine. Thus, we're naturally thrilled that we can continue our association.
"The fact that he has been with the team all these years, and knows not only the philosophy, but also the dressing room inside out made it a very easy decision for us."
(Source: FC Goa Media)