Jamshedpur FC recently announced the return of defender Pratik Chaudhari at the Steel City. The 32 years-old center back previously had a one-season stint with the Men of Steel when he joined the club in 2018 from erstwhile Delhi Dynamos.
The Mumbai-born lad played a huge role in Jamshedpur FC’s Hero ISL 2018-19 campaign. In this season JFC finished 5th place narrowly missing out on the semi-final spot. Later next season Pratik joined Mumbai City FC and then joined Bengaluru FC in 2020 where he spent his last two seasons.
Coming back to the furnace Pratik seemed quote delighted as he got up close and personal. Here are the excerpts from the exclusive interview with the club media.
How do you feel about donning a Jamshedpur FC jersey again after coming back?
Pratik: I'm delighted to be back at Jamshedpur. I always felt that I will come back someday and I'm glad that it has happened now. Wearing the JFC threads was really special then and being the Champions of India now, makes it even more special.
What does Jamshedpur as a city & club means to you?
Pratik: I've lived in this city before. So I know that football has always been a sport that is much appreciated and loved by the people here. Jamshedpur FC is a massive club. And one of the main reasons behind coming back here is that I always felt comfortable with the people at the club. The professionalism and the positive intent that they've maintained throughout is something we all admire as players. So for me, it's like another home away from home.
You have played in Jamshedpur in front of packed crowds. What do you think of the fans?
Pratik: They're undoubtedly one of the best in India. The zeal & enthusiasm they have for the team is second to none. I'm really excited & looking forward to playing in front of them again.
How excited are you to learn and grow under the new gaffer Aidy Boothroyd?
Pratik: I'm very happy to have Aidy Boothroyd as our gaffer. The experience he brings to the club is what we need to win the title & defend the shield. So yes I'm very excited and eager to play under his guidance and gain valuable learnings.
Message for the fans…
Pratik: You guys have always been amazing supporters. It's not so long now before we meet again. Keep showing your love & support & we'll try our best to make you all proud. Can't wait to see you guys at the furnace again.
Pratik is excited to play under new gaffer Aidy Boothroyd and will don jersey number 24 this season. All the players including the new signings are scheduled to arrive in Jamshedpur for the pre-season preparations in mid-August.