Pune FC have completed the signing of seasoned midfielder Ishfaq Ahmed for the remainder of the 2014-15 season.
The thirty-one year old midfielder joins Pune FC on loan after a short stint with Kerala Blasters in the ISL and will be a valuable addition to Coach Karim Bencherifa’s side ahead of the upcoming I-League.
Chirag Tanna, Pune FC Head Operations said, “Ishfaq is a versatile player who has come off a very strong ISL campaign. We wish him the very best at the club.”
Karim Bencherifa, Pune FC Head Coach said, “I know Ishfaq very well and for a long time. He is a good player and also a good human being. He has played under me at Mohun Bagan and Salgaocar FC where we have won trophies. He is not only an experienced player who works very hard on the field, but also a utility player who can play in various positions.”
Interestingly, Ishfaq has already played under Coach Bencherifa at two different clubs in the past and will hope to gel in quickly.
Speaking after completing formalities, Ishfaq Ahmed said, “It’s an amazing feeling to be part of Pune FC, one of the most professional clubs in India. I hope to give my best every time I step onto the field and help the team in winning the I-League title.”
The Srinagar-born midfielder began his professional career with Bangalore-based side HAL SC after a short stint with the Jammu & Kashmir Under-21 side.
After a successful stint with HAL, Ishfaq made the switch to Goan side Dempo SC in 2003. His four-year stay in Goa saw him clinch two national league titles in 2004-05 and 2006-07 along with a Federation Cup in 2004.
At the start of the 2007-08 season, he moved to Kolkata’s Mohun Bagan where he became an integral part of the side. It was at Bagan where Ishfaq first played under Karim Bencherifa in 2008-09 season. While in Bagan, Ishfaq helped the side to a Federation Cup title in 2008 as well as runners up finish in the I-League (2008-09) apart from a couple of Calcutta League titles.
Following a four-year stint at Bagan, Ishfaq moved back to Goa joining Salgaocar to play once again under Bencherifa, and helped his team to the Federation Cup title (2011).
Thereafter, Ishfaq had stints with Kolkata giants East Bengal (2012-13) with whom he also won his fourth Federation Cup, and Mohammedan SC (2013-14) before playing for Kerala Blasters. Furthermore, Ishfaq has also represented India at the junior and senior level on multiple occasions.