Pune: I-League club Bharat FC Monday added experienced defender Dharmaraj Ravanan to their squad on a season-long loan.
The 27-year-old joins from Indian Super League (ISL) franchise FC Pune City. Pune-based Bharat FC kick-off their campaign against Dempo SC Jan 24 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Mhalunge-Balewadi.
Hailing from Tamil Nadu, Ravanan started his career with Chennai-based Indian Bank FC. Having been noticed in a local tournament in Bengaluru by then Dempo coach Armando Colaco, he was signed up by the Goan team for the 2005-06 season.
The following season he moved to Kolkata, joining Mohun Bagan AC before moving to Mumbai the following season to ply his trade for Mahindra United. The centre-back, who can also be deployed on the flanks, spent three seasons with Mahindra United before moving back to Goa, this time with Churchill Brothers SC.
Ravanan was anointed club captain for the 2012-13 season and it was under his leadership that Churchill Brothers clinched the I-League title. Next year, he won the Federation Cup, again donning the captain’s armband.
The 27-year-old was also an integral cog of FC Pune City in ISL, playing all 14 matches for his team.
“Ravanan’s biggest strength is that he is a very steady defender. He does not panic, does not hoof the ball up-front wildly. He is assured on the ball and assertive in the air. I want my team to keep its shape at all times and Ravanan is a player who can help us do that,” Bharat FC head coach Stuart Watkiss said.
Ravanan for his part said that the chance to work with a top quality coaching staff and to play with a number of seasoned Indian players was why he agreed to the move.
“Bharat FC has managed to assemble a really competitive outfit in such a short time. When I saw the coaching staff, the facilities and the exposure that we as players would get by being at this club, it didn’t really take me long to sign on the dotted line,” he said.