Gursimrat Singh

Bengaluru, Aug 23 (IANS) Reigning I-League champions Bengaluru FC on Tuesday announced the signing of promising 19-year-old defender Gursimrat Singh on a one-year deal.

A regular in the India Under-19 squad between 2014-15, Gursimrat spent five years at the Chandigarh Football Academy before being drafted into the AIFF Regional Academy in Navi Mumbai from where he went on to represent the country.

He was also part of the AIFF squad that won the Under-19 I-League in 2015.

“I am thrilled that I have signed my first professional contract with the best club in India. I am looking forward to learning and growing every day. This is a big chance for me early in my career and I am focused on making the most of it,” Gursimrat who hails from Ludhiana, said.

Gursimrat was part of the SAFF Cup-winning India side of 2015 and also represented the country in the Under-19 AFC Championship in Palestine in the same year.

The I-League champions also added to the squad by signing familiar faces in defender Vishal Kumar and midfielder Darren Caldeira on short-term deals.

Caldeira, a Bengaluru player from 2013-2015, makes a return to the Blues after spending last season with Mumbai FC.

Meanwhile local lad Vishal penned an extended deal after his three-year contract with the Blues ran out earlier in May.

Bengaluru head coach Albert Roca said the side could do with the new additions given the big AFC Cup game is less than a month away.

“The club’s philosophy is to give young talent a stage and I believe that’s exactly what Gursimrat has got. He is talented, works hard and wants to keep improving which is a good sign for anyone taking the professional path. It’s also good to have Vishal and Darren back with the team. They have been with the club before but are working hard to bring value add to the squad which is what we need ahead of the AFC Cup tie,” Roca said.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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