Photo Credit: Kerala Blasters FC twitter handle

Kerala Blasters FC defender Bijoy Varghese has penned down a contract extension with the club, extending his tenure till 2025. The centre-back will wear the jersey number 21, which was retired by the Kochi-based club for Sandesh as a tribute to the then departing club captain.

“I am really excited that I’m going to be a part of Blasters for a long time. I am really happy to be working under coach Ivan Vukomanovic and intend to work harder, get better at my game, and sharpen my skills. I hope to give all the club’s passionate fans memories by giving my 100% in all the games that I play,” said Bijoy to Times of India after signing the extension 

The 22-year-old is no newcomer in the set-up and has been a regular for the reserve team in Kerala Premier League in 2021 before gaining promotion to the first team during the 2021-2022 season, making five appearances for the eventual finalists.

Varghese will carry heavy expectations by wearing the number 21 as fans will be hoping he can recreate the magic woven by Jhingan back in the Hero ISL 2014 season, helping his former team reach two finals and becoming a fan favourite at the club.

Jhingan left for greener pastures after securing a move to Croatian side HNK Sibenik in 2020 following which the Tuskers permanently retired his jersey number as a tribute to his contributions for the club. After a troublesome and brief spell at Sibenik, Jhingan returned in the winter transfer window of the Hero ISL 2021-22 season to play for ATK Mohun Bagan.

“Bijoy is a great example that everything is possible, he worked hard and never gave up. I hope he will be a positive example to all young players who start out in the KBFC youth set-up,” averred the club’s sporting director Karolis Skinkys.