Pune, Sep 4 IANS | 4 months ago

Pune Football Club Thursday completed the signing of seasoned attacker Bineesh Balan for the 2014-15 season.

A former I-League and Federation Cup winner, Balan joins Pune FC after a trophy-laden six-season spell with Goan side Churchill Brothers. The Thrissur-born thus becomes the fifth Indian and seventh overall signing under coach Karim Bencherifa.

"Bineesh's explosive pace and eye for goal makes him an important signing for our club. He played a very important role when Churchill Brothers won the I-League a couple of years back and I am certain that he will do very well at Pune FC," Chirag Tanna, head of operations at Pune FC, said.

After completing the formalities, Balan said: "I am extremely happy to be a part of the Pune FC family. I have won a lot with Churchill Brothers in the last six years and want to achieve the same success with Pune FC."

Balan, 25, began his career with the Tata Football Academy (TFA) which he joined as a 15-year-old in 2004. In four years at the academy, Balan represented TFA in various competitions at the state and national level before graduating in 2008.

At the start of the 2008-09 season, the youngster was snapped up by Churchill Brothers where he began his professional career and his consistent performances saw him become a mainstay of the side for over six seasons.

During this period, Balan went on to win the I-League in 2008-09 and 2012-13, Durand Cup and IFA Shield in 2011, and the 2014 Federation Cup. Furthermore, the Keralite also played a crucial role in Churchill's campaign in the AFC Cup in 2013 and 2014.

Balan also added a distinctive record to his name in the 2012-13 season when he scored a hat-trick inside 40 minutes in Churchill's 8-4 win over Sporting Goa.

(Posted on 04-09-2014)

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