Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 | Last Update : 05:06 AM IST
The senior professional is looking forward to a memorable campaign this time.
Mehrajuddin Wadoo’s short tryst with the city as a player wasn’t memorable as his I-League team Mumbai FC got relegated last season. Now he will be back in the city later this month to join his new Indian Super League franchise Mumbai City FC. The senior professional is looking forward to a memorable campaign this time.
“I joined Mumbai FC when the team was halfway through I-League. Since they were at the bottom of the table, the team brought in some players to help them. But unfortunately we got relegated. I played 10 games and we drew six matches, which included four clean sheets but we lagged in scoring goals,” he reminisced about the last I-League campaign earlier this year.
He, however, cannot forget the support that Mumbai FC got from fans despite their ordinary output. “Mumbai fans were fantastic. They kept supporting us. Mumbai City FC also has great fan base so it is going to be a great experience, “ he said.
Former International Wadoo played the inaugural ISL season for FC Pune City and later joined Chennaiyin FC, where he stayed for two seasons. He was in top shape last season and played all the matches for Chennaiyin as a reliable right back. His compact show at the back in ISL 3 was one of the reasons Mumbai FC bought him in I-League to plug loopholes in their defense but things didn’t go as per plan.
Wadoo, who played as a defensive midfielder in the Indian national team under former Indian coach Bob Houghton, had settled into a stopper back role in Chennaiyin. “I started as a striker and then coaches wanted me to play defensive midfielder (in I-League and the Indian team). I have played often as right back in ISL. This year is a big challenge for me under a new coach, new players, new management. Nevertheless, I will give my 100 per cent,” he said.
Besides his clinical show at the back, the 33-year-old is known for making swift runs forward and also deliver accurate, threatening long balls to strikers. “I have always tried to pick up the coach’s style of play and follow it on the field. In Chennaiyin, the coach wanted me to play long balls at times and Stiven Mendoza up front made something out of it. It depends on the quality of striker. I also play short balls depending on the strategy and mix of both.”
The Srinagar-based player praised Mumbai City’s last season team that had Diego Forlan and Sunil Chhetri in the side. This season there is no Chhetri and the franchise is yet to name its marquee player but Wadoo felt they have a strong bunch of Indian players.