KOCHI: In a clear indication of the faith that Kerala Blasters have in Abdul Hakku Nediyodath, the club has offered the central defender a new three-year contract extension.
Earlier this month, Blasters had tied down left-back Jessel Carneiro on a three-year-deal, as the club are looking to secure the services of their key squad members on a long term basis.
Giving players multi-year deals is less common in Indian football, and even more so in Indian Super League, where the common practice is to give short term contracts that last only for a season or so.
“Being a local boy from the state of Kerala, Blasters is my family, my own, always! I am really happy that the club has shown faith in me and I will make sure that I work harder going forward. I hope we can win many trophies together and rejoice with our 12th man, our heartbeat, our fans. This is my home, and I am here to stay!” said Abdul Hakku on his contract extension.
After joining Blasters from NorthEast United ahead of the 2019/20 season, Hakku managed to make five appearances for them under former boss Eelco Schattorie.
The six-foot-tall centre-back from Vaniyannur village in Malappuram started his football journey at the Sports Academy in Tirur before signing for the DSK Shivajians youth team.
He then went on to play for their senior team and later represented Fateh Hyderabad in the 2nd division of the I-league.
"Kerala Blasters FC strongly believes in the stopper back’s effective tackling skills and have placed their trust with this new contract, which is also a testimony to the club’s vision of growing and developing local talents from the state. Quick on his feet, the player is impressive when on his defending duties and is also swift to intercept the high balls," a club statement read.
Judging by the club's Sporting Director Karolis Skinkys' words, Hakku could fill the shoes of star defender Sandesh Jhingan who left the club at the end of last season.
“Abdul Hakku has the potential to become a mainstay in the club’s defence line. We believe in his tackling abilities. With strong will power, hard work and dedication from the player, I hope to see him grow and evolve into one of the best defenders from the state, under the guidance of our new head coach (Kibu Vicuna). Being a Kerala boy, we also hope to see continuous love and support from our fans that will help build his motivation,” said Skinkys.