SIL 2022-23 | Chennaiyin FC sign midfielder Julius Duker, Hyderabad FC get full-back Manoj Mohammad

Indian Super League (ISL) hero club Chennaiyin FC have secured the services of German midfielder Julius Duker to complete their overseas squad for the upcoming season. The 26-year-old is Chennaiyin’s second foreign midfielder after Rafael Crivellaro, who has been with the team since 2019.

Vafa Hakhamaneshi, Fallou Diagne, Petar Sliskovic and Kwame Karikari are the club’s other international recruits this summer. “Our latest foreign recruit, Julius, will fit perfectly into this young and fresh team that we have built. His versatility will be a good asset for the team,” said Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani.

The left-footed player has 35 goals and 23 assists to his name in 210 career appearances so far. Chennaiyin FC will be Duker’s first club outside of Germany.

Expressing his excitement ahead of his first stint in India, Duker said: “I’m proud to be part of this great club. First of all, I want to thank the fans for all the messages and the warm welcome.

“I am just delighted to finally be able to meet the team, the staff and our fans. Of course, I am motivated to achieve the goals set by the club. I will work hard to create moments of success for the club again. But first I want to get to know the team and get in shape.

Duker will join a midfield already made up of experienced players such as Crivellaro, Anirudh Thapaand Mohammad Rafithat. With his versatility and experience, the Braunschweig-born dynamic footballer will also come up with different combinations for Chennaiyin FC.

A product of VfL Wolfsburg’s youth academy, Duker has played at senior professional level since 2014 and has featured for some popular German clubs including Eintracht Braunschweig and SV Meppen.

Focusing more on providing youngsters with a platform at the highest level, Hero ISL champions Hyderabad FC have completed the signing of young full-back Manoj Mohammad, the club announced on Wednesday. “I’m really happy to sign for this club at this stage of my career,” Manoj said after signing his contract.

“I can’t wait to be on the pitch and I promise to give my best in every training session and every game,” he added. Left-back by trait, Manoj is an effective full-back at both ends of the pitch. He has accumulated a lot of experience in the Hero I-League, having started his career with the east bengal the academy when I was a kid.

He made 16 league appearances for the senior team before joining Mohammedan SC in 2020. Since then he has been a first-team regular and has made 29 appearances for the club playing a crucial role in the 2nd-place Hero I- 2021-22. League campaign. He also registered a few assists in what has been a consistently impressive campaign for the youngster. He was also part of the Muslim side that won the Calcutta Football League title after 40 years.

Manoj has now signed a three-year long-term deal with Hyderabad FC until the end of the 2024-25 campaign and will be part of the first team under Manolo Marquez for the upcoming campaign.

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