The Indian football fraternity was elated on Thursday as it was confirmed that India international and the Indian Super League’s (ISL) Kerala Blasters midfielder Renedy Singh, had signed for one of Bulgaria’s biggest clubs, CSKA Sofia for the rest of the 2014/15 season.
The Bulgarians currently lead the Bulgarian national football league, A Group. Singh, who’s played for Indian clubs such as Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Shillong Lajong to name a few and is on loan from the Blasters, will have his experience tested as he seeks to make an immediate impact on the side.
The 35 year-old Manipur native ensured all formalities were followed to ensure he could immediately link up with the CSKA team, as he arrived into the city of Sofia, Bulgaria. He also aimed to impress coach Stoycho Mladenov, so that he could not only gain a starting berth soon at the club, but also learn from the gaffer about his coaching methods so as to implement them once his playing career was over.
Expressing unconfined happiness as he signed the contract, Singh elucidated, “I am very happy to be here and sign for CSKA Sofia! It is a big club with a lot of history and pedigree. Back home in India people will mainly know Bulgarian legend Hristo Stoichkov for his time at FC Barcelona. He is a former CSKA player and coach or former EPL players Stiliyan Petrov and Martin Petrov, also players who have played here."
Expounding on the reasons the veteran chose a Bulgarian club, Singh calmly stated, “After the end of the ISL, I wanted an opportunity to play and also learn the nuances of coaching. This is being made possible by coach Stoycho Mladenov and the club, whom I would like to thank for this great opportunity!”
Renedy was in awe of his coach Mladenov, as he explained, “Club coach Stoycho Mladenov is a CSKA legend and someone with a lot of experience as a player and coach, not only here in Bulgaria, but also for his years in Portugal. This gives me a chance to work and learn from him."
Though CSKA don’t plan on large scale marketing and commercial activities in India, having signed their first-ever Indian player in Singh, the club are looking to ensure Indian talents find their way to the academy or to the first team via exchange program combined with partnering youth development.
Finally, Renedy was said to have been introduced to the first team by Mladenov before he participated in and completed his first training session with the team.