Kerala Blasters retains C.K. Vineeth, K.Prasanth

Kerala Blasters has retained its influential striker C.K. Vineeth for the fourth season of the ISL. The Sachin Tendulkar co-owned team also decided to retain under-21 winger K. Prasanth for the upcoming season.

Kerala Blasters FC has retained forward C.K. Vineeth for the upcoming season.   -  THE HINDU

Kerala Blasters has retained its influential striker C.K. Vineeth for the fourth season of the ISL. The Sachin Tendulkar co-owned team also decided to retain under-21 winger K. Prasanth for the upcoming season.

C.K. Vineeth, who was loaned to Kerala Blasters from Bengaluru FC, had played a stellar role in the club’s entry into the final in the third season of the ISL. However, BFC which is the new entrant into the ISL this season decided to retain Sunil Chetri and Udanta Singh making Vineeth free to sign a new contract with any club of his choice. Kerala Blasters didn’t waste any chance and signed Vineeth for the upcoming season.

Vineeth, who spent three successful seasons with Bengaluru FC, bid an emotional farewell to the two-time I-league champion through a facebook post.

An AIFF elite academy product K.Prasanth, who was loaned to Chennai City to play in the I-league this season, was part of the Kerala Blasters team last season but didn’t figure in the playing XI in any of the matches. “I am excited to be back to play for my home team and keen to win the confidence of my team-mates and the club,” said Prasanth.

“We are happy to have Prasanth back. This goes well with the objective of the team to give the talented Kerala boys an opportunity on the big stage,” said Kerala Blasters CEO Varun Tripuraneni. Kerala Blasters is also eyeing a couple of under-21 players who represented Kerala in this year’s Santosh Trophy football championship.

Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters is still undecided on the choice of its second Indian player to be retained. Mehtab Hossain who served as Blasters’ Assistant coach for the last three years and Sandesh Jinghan were considered and offered contract.

Both players decided to join the ISL draft instead. Mehtab Hossain decided to join the players draft at the last moment after meeting Blasters’ officials in Hyderabad. Jinghan was offered a new contact but the player was reportedly not happy with the contract extended to him by the Blasters. The Blasters still has the option of bagging Jinghan through the players draft which will be held later this month. Kerala Blasters is also in talks with Rino Anto, who played for the side last season, for the second Indian slot.