Hero Indian Super League (ISL) club Bengaluru FC, on Tuesday, announced the acquisition of English striker Curtis Main on a one-year deal, with an optional one-year extension, that currently runs through to the end of the 2023-24 season. Main, who most recently turned out for St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership, began his youth career at Sunderland AFC, and is a product of the Darlington FC Academy.

“I’m very excited and honoured to be part of such a great club. I had a few conversations with the manager and I really liked how they went. He has a great reputation and has thus far done an excellent job at the club and hopefully I can come in and build on the success. I’m looking forward to joining the team, and getting started in front of the passionate fans that I’ve heard so much about,” said Main, after the completion of formalities on his deal.

Born in South Shields, Main became the youngest player to represent Darlington when he came off the bench in a League Two encounter against Peterborough at just 15 years and 318 days of age. Stints at Middlesborough, Doncaster Rovers and Portsmouth would follow with Main scoring five goals during his time at Fratton Park as Portsmouth gained promotion to League One in his first season. In 2018, Main made the move to Scotland with Motherwell.

“We’re delighted to sign Curtis, who is a player with a lot of experience in England and Scotland. He did very well last year for St Mirren and is a whole-hearted striker who works extremely hard for his team, has good hold-up play and will be a valuable asset. He was desperate to come to India, despite having the opportunity to sign longer contracts in the UK as he wanted a new challenge. Bengaluru, as a city and a football club, really suited him and I’m sure he’ll contribute a lot of goals and assists while he’s here,” said Blues’ Head Coach Simon Grayson.

After signing for Aberdeen in 2019, Main spent two seasons with the Dons before moving back to England with Shrewsbury Town in 2020. A return to Scotland with St Mirren in 2021 saw the frontman score 11 goals across two seasons for the Buddies, before a first move abroad with Bengaluru culminated.

“Main is a striker who had interest from several clubs in Europe, and that he has signed with us shows the belief he has in our project. He’s someone that brings with him experience of leading attacks with his explosiveness and physicality, and we believe that his addition will help us a lot in what will definitely be a competitive season,” said Blues’ Director of Football, Darren Caldeira.

Main is Bengaluru’s second foreign signing of the window, with the Blues announcing the arrival of Montenegrin center-back Slavko Damjanovic earlier.