Kolkata, Sep 3: Seasoned defender Raju Gaikwad has extended his stay at SC East Bengal, putting pen to paper another one-year deal which will keep him at the club for the 2021/22 season.
Centre-back Gaikwad returned to East Bengal in the January transfer window, playing seven matches for the red and gold brigade. Mumbai-born, Gaikwad, known for his long throws, expressed his delight at the prospect of donning the East Bengal jersey again. He was an integral part of East Bengal between 2011-2015, having also featured for FC Goa, Jamshedpur FC and Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL).
“No matter how many years you spend at East Bengal, it is always a great feeling donning the red and gold jersey. I know what this club means to the fans and Indian football and I look forward to another season ahead,” said Gaikwad, who has 23 India caps to his name.
“I loved working with the gaffer (Robbie Fowler) last time around and I am thrilled to play under him again. We will try our best to do well as a unit and make the fans happy. They have been right behind us even when times were tough, and I feel they deserve it the most,” he added.
Gaikwad began his career at the Tata Football Academy and went on to play for Pailan Arrows before joining East Bengal in 2011. Gaikwad had a successful spell at East Bengal, winning the Federation Cup, Calcutta Football League and the IFA Shield besides also reaching the AFC Cup semifinals in the 2013/14 season.
SC East Bengal, coached by Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, took part in their maiden ISL campaign last time, finishing in ninth place.