Transfer Wrap: Mumbai City FC sign Rostyn Griffiths; Odisha FC rope in Lalthuammawia Ralte

Mumbai City FC have secured the signing of defender Rostyn Griffiths from sister club Melbourne City FC on a one-year contract, with the move subject to a medical. The club announced the signing through their social media handles, on Sunday.

The central defender reunites with head coach Des Buckingham after spending four seasons at Melbourne City, where Buckingham was the assistant coach between 2020 and 2021. The experienced Englishman won the A-League Premiers and Championship double in the 2020/21 season and also featured in the club's debut continental campaign at the 2022 AFC Champions League, before getting his hands on a second consecutive Premiers in 2021/22 with the Melbourne-based club.

“I've heard lots of good things about the Indian Super League, it is one of the fastest-growing leagues in the world and it has a great quality in terms of the game. Personally, this is a new challenge in my life and I’m ready for it. The club's vision and ambition is a huge factor in helping my decision to come here along with what Des Buckingham intends to build here at Mumbai City. I've known him for a long time – we've won trophies together in Australia, and now I hope we can achieve success in India as well,” said Griffiths after signing for the Islanders.

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Griffiths started his career with then-Premier League side Blackburn Rovers before moving to Australia to ply his trade. He made his A-league debut with Adelaide United and went on to represent North Queensland Fury and Central Coast Mariners, where he had a very successful spell, winning the Premiers in the 2011/12 season.

Griffiths then featured for China's Guangzhou City and the Dutch club Roda JC before returning to A-league with Perth Glory, where he spent two seasons with the club.

“I've worked closely with Rostyn in the past, so I know him quite well. He is a top player and is someone who will bring a lot of experience and character into our team. We’ve enjoyed success in our time at Melbourne City and he fits perfectly within our able and talented squad. We have a very young core here and I believe Rostyn can be a great mentor to our youngsters as well. I believe he can make a big impact at Mumbai City,” stated Des Buckingham on his adding the new recruit to the team.

Prior to joining Melbourne City, he turned out for Uzbek side Pakhtakor Tashkent in the 2017/18 Uzbekistan Super League.

The former Australian u17s international has a total of 321 appearances and 23 goals to his name in his club career so far.

Odisha FC sign Lalthuammawia Ralte on a two-year deal

The Kalinga Warriors have acquired the services of Mizoram-born goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte on a two-year contract, the club announced the signing through their social media handles, on Sunday.

Ralte played his early career at Shillong Lajong FC. He signed with the newly-promoted club in the summer of 2011, to play in the I-League. He then made his debut for the club against Churchill Brothers on 17 September 2011 in the 2011 Indian Federation Cup. He helped the club then reach the semi-finals of the Federation Cup against Salgaocar. Ralte went on to make over 40 appearances for the Meghalaya-based side.

The 29-year-old joined Bengaluru FC in 2014 when the side was still playing in the I-League. In his debut season, Ralte made 20 appearances for the Blues, helped them win the I-League title, and then took guard between the sticks in the club’s run to the AFC Cup final the following term. Ralte made his AFC Champions League debut against Johor Darul Ta'zim at Larkin Stadium Malaysia.

He joined FC Goa in 2018, and was then loaned out to Kerala Blasters FC, and East Bengal in the following season, making 9 appearances for the Kolkata giants.

The shot-stopper re-joined Bengaluru FC in 2020. He then moved to I-League side RoundGlass Punjab FC, where he made his mark before moving to Odisha FC.

Ralte is a veteran custodian with a lot of experience in Indian football. He has a lot of experience with the domestic league, domestic cups, and AFC tournaments as well.

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