Pune: Pune Football Club have signed up city-born Prakash Thorat to strengthen their forward line for the forthcoming season.
Prakash has signed a two year contract (2013-14 and 2014-15) with the club as the 28-year-old becomes only the third player from Pune to ever figure in the main squad.
Earlier, striker Sandesh Gadkari (2007-2011) and winger Paresh Shivalkar (2010-12) plied their trade at the club.
The forward becomes the fourth Maharashtra player after Kolhapur`s Nikhil Kadam to earn the nod from Pune FC.
"We are happy to have Prakash on board for this season. His signing should send out a strong message that Pune city has talent and also that hard work is recognised," Pune FC Head Operations Chirag Tanna said.
Prakash`s signing, thus, completes his long term desire to play for a club he looked up to when plying his skills in local and state club teams respectively, where he always remained a stand out player.
"My target is to get settled in fast, cement my place in the team which I will work on immediately. This has been my dream and I want to prove myself in every single opportunity I get," he said.
His career took off when Air India signed him during the second window of the 2011-12 season, where he effectively executed his role when deployed as a winger. On his I-League debut at the Salt Lake Stadium, he walked out with a satisfying memory scoring twice in the 2?0 result.
In his first professional season (2011-12), Prakash made seven I-League appearances and played a role in his side staving off relegation and achieve a mid-table finish.
An overall show helped him earn a permanent move to the Mumbai-based side in 2012-13. In fact, at the start of the season, Prakash was nominated captain when the team began its Durand Cup 2012 campaign. Although he featured at the start, injury ruled him out of the latter stages of the tournament, which Air-India ended up winning.
Prakash followed up on his scoring ability netting three in the 2012-13 I-League in the 20 appearances (included 15 starts) he was handed, many as a winger to support the strikers.