Football: FC Goa complete signing of Muhammad Hammad for an undisclosed fee

Margao, June 22 (IANS) Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Goa have announced the signing of Jammu & Kashmir footballer Muhammad Hammad on a permanent transfer from FC 1 for an undisclosed fee. Signing a multi-year contract, Hammad will join the Gaurs for the upcoming 2024-25 season and beyond, marking an exciting new chapter in his career.

“Joining FC Goa is a dream come true for me. The club’s vision and commitment to excellence resonate with my personal goals, and I am eager to bring my best to the pitch. I look forward to representing the Gaurs and making my mark in the ISL. This opportunity means a lot to me and to be the first from my region to play for FC Goa is a proud moment,” said Hammad.

Born and raised in Jammu & Kashmir, Hammad’s football journey began with Lonestar Kashmir FC in the I-League 2nd Division. His impressive performances earned him a spot on the J&K state team for the Santosh Trophy in the 2015-2016 season.

The defender then joined Real Kashmir FC, where his defensive prowess helped the Snow Leopards clinch the I-League 2nd Division title in the 2017-18 season and secure promotion to the I-League.

He then made an immediate impact in the I-League, debuting in a 1-0 victory over defending champions Minerva Punjab FC in the opening game of the 2018-19 season. He also showcased his skills in the Durand Cup, contributing to Real Kashmir’s advance to the semifinals, where they eventually faced Mohun Bagan FC after advancing from a group that included FC Goa’s Reserves Team.

“We are delighted to welcome Muhammad Hammad to FC Goa. His consistent performances, leadership, and versatility make him an invaluable addition to our squad. Hammad’s journey reflects his dedication and resilience, and we believe he will continue to grow and contribute significantly to our success in the upcoming season,” said FC Goa’s Director of Football, Lokesh Bherwani.

Following stints with Jaipur Elite FC in the Rajasthan State League and FC 1 in the J&K Premier Football League, Muhammad Hammad rejoined Real Kashmir on loan for the 2023-24 season from FC 1. As captain, he played every minute of the I-League, leading his team to a commendable fifth-place finish and earning the prestigious Jarnail Singh Award for Best Defender of the season.

His remarkable campaign included an assist, 12 clean sheets, and versatility across the backline, helping Real Kashmir concede just 19 goals in 24 matches.

The centre-back’s stellar performances caught the attention of then-Indian national team coach Igor Stimac, leading to his call-up to the probables’ camp for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. His impending debut in the Indian Super League (ISL) with FC Goa will mark a significant milestone as he becomes the first player from Jammu & Kashmir to represent the Gaurs.



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