Chennaiyin FC have signed defender Deepak Devrani on a one-year deal ahead of the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season.
The 28-year-old will make a return to the country’s premier football league after playing a crucial role in Gokulam Kerala FC’s I-League winning campaign in 2020/21, in which he was also voted to the team of the season.
“Someone who has come-off as a key asset in a title winning campaign of the I-league last season [winner with Gokulam Kerala] will be eager to take that one step above in the ISL. We are happy to enable him in that endeavour,” CFC co-owner Vita Dani said.
Devrani had turned out for FC Pune City in the inaugural edition of the ISL in 2014, and now makes his comeback to the competition seven years later.
“I am extremely delighted about joining Chennayin FC. It is a very strong team, very promising and I very much look forward to joining my teammates. It feels amazing. It is a leap that I've taken and I'm all set to put my best foot forward in every game,” Devrani said in his first comments to the club.
An experienced campaigner Devrani, made his I-League debut in 2012/13 with the Indian Arrows, formerly known as Pailan Arrows. Since, he has been a part of the three I-League winning campaigns, his first, coming during a loan spell at Mohun Bagan in 2014/15. He won the second title in 2017/18 during his three-year stint with Minerva Academy FC. His third and most recent, came with Malabarians last season, in which he produced four assists in 14 appearances.
With the likes of Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Reagan Singh, Salam Ranjan Singh and Narayan Das in the fray, Devrani, with 74 I-League appearances, will provide necessary depth to the defensive line of the two-time ISL champions as they gear up for 2021/22 season.
“The plan is always to win the trophy and the shield. Winning the ISL trophy would mean a third one for Chennayin FC and a first one for me. That would be perfect and I am ready to put in the hard work required to achieve the same,” Devrani, who has played for India at the U-16, U-19 and U-23 levels, further added.
Devrani started playing football at the age of 12 and learnt the basics of the game at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. He spent younger days at East Bengal before starting his professional career with Indian Arrows and since then, the centre-back has played for many top clubs in the country including Punjab FC, TRAU FC and Sporting Clube de Goa.