ATK Mohun Bagan extend midfielder Carl McHugh’s contract

2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) finalists ATK Mohun Bagan have confirmed on Friday that star midfielder Carl McHugh’s contract has been extended, which simply means he will again be seen playing in the Green and Maroon jersey. The Mariners are due to play in the AFC Cup (Group D, South Zone) soon.

“I am happy that the club management has asked me to sign a new contract. A long season is ahead. I am preparing to give my best. Like other footballers, I am also hungry to win the trophy. Last time I couldn't, this time I want to win all the tournaments.

“I have learned a lot from coach Antonio Lopez Habas and the support staff. Our practice is always carried on in such an environment that makes it easy to perform well. Since coming to Kolkata, my performance has improved a lot, especially because of the coach. He has built me tactically. It feels good to be able to take coaching from him again.

"Even though we came very close to winning the trophy or becoming the league champion last year, we did not succeed. I will not hide my frustration regarding this as frustration in football paves the way to success. It inspires me to succeed and I want to get success by keeping that in mind for the next season. Several new footballers have joined the team. I am looking forward to playing with them,” McHugh told the ATKMB media team after his extension.

The 28-year-old featured in 21 games for the Mariners last season and came up with 109 tackles, 39 clearances and 32 interceptions besides providing two assists. McHugh represented ATK FC in their trophy-winning campaign in the 2019-20 Hero ISL, although he featured in only six games due to injury. He scored a goal for ATK FC which remains his only Hero ISL goal to date.  

Prior to his move to India, McHugh was part of Scottish club Motherwell FC. He has also played a lot in England and has represented clubs like Reading FC, Plymouth Argyle and Bradford City.

The Irishman was part of the Bradford team which defied all odds to reach the League Cup final back in 2012-13. It was the first time in over 51 years that a fourth-tier club in England played the prestigious cup final.

With the new acquisitions of Liston Colaco, Amrinder Singh, Joni Kauko, Deepak Tangri, Ashutosh Mehta, Hugo Boumous and Bidyananda Singh and the contract extension of McHugh, ATK Mohun Bagan have amply indicated in recent weeks that they are eyeing nothing less than the trophies in the 2021-22 season, be it the AFC Cup or the Hero ISL.

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