Pune: FC Goa has signed goalkeeper Laxmikanth Kattimani and winger Mandar Rao Desai for three year deals which will keep the players on the Konkan coast till the end of 2019-20 season.
The club will now enter the domestic draft having retained the maximum quota of retentions allowed as per the regulations of the league organizers.
Club president, Akshay Tandon said: “We are delighted to have been able to agree terms with Katti and Mandar. Both of them have defended the club’s crest since its inception and we couldn’t be happier that they will continue to do so for a further three years.
“Both of them have been vital pieces of the jigsaw in the past seasons and we expect them to continue in the same vein. With only two players being allowed for retention, we’re pleased that they have ended up being Mandar and Katti,” he said in an official release.
Kattimani signed up with the club after having plied his trade for Mumbai FC in the concluded I-League season. The shot-stopper has made 25 appearances with the club over the past three seasons of the ISL.
Since becoming first choice in the second season, no goalkeeper has managed to tally more than Kattimani’s 84 saves. Mandar renewed terms with the club having spent the last I-League season on loan at Bengaluru FC. The flying winger previously had a small stint at Villareal prior to the start of the 3rd season of the ISL.
After extending his stay at the club, Mandar said: “I’m pleased to be able to come back to Goa again. For the past three seasons, I have received an immense amount of love and support from the fans and have learnt a lot at the club. I want to continue to keep moving in an upward trajectory and continue to develop my skills under the new coach. I’m keen to play my part in ensuring the club pushes hard for the title this year.”
Kattimani added: “I’m thankful to the club for the faith they have shown in my abilities. Being a Goan, its a moment of pride to be able to represent the club which plays in Goa. We are starting fresh this year with a lot of expectations and after the disappointment of last season.”
With the duo agreeing terms, the club now has three players on its books for the upcoming season, with Bruno Pinheiro having become the first foreign singing of the club the previous month.