Vinit Rai | Mumbai City FC

Assam’s footballer Vinit Rai will continue to play for Mumbai City FC till the end of 2022-23 season in the ISL.

The club has agreed with Odisha FC for an extension to the loan spell of Vinit Rai. The 24-year-old midfielder will continue with the Islanders until the end of the 2022-23 season, the Islanders confirmed on July 12.

“The last six months of my career with Mumbai City were an important part of my learning curve as a footballer and I am pleased to add another season to my time with the club that has helped me grow,” said Vinit.

“Being able to work with some of the finest players in the league and to be able to play at the highest level in Asia has given me plenty to build on in my first full season with Mumbai City.”

Vinit, who joined from fellow ISL outfit Odisha FC on loan in January 2022, made 10 appearances for the Islanders in the 2021-22 ISL season. He was also part of the club’s historic second-place group stage finish at the 2022 AFC champions league, where he featured in five of the Islanders’ six games at Asia’s premier club competition earlier in April.

Vinit Rai who was born in Assam’s Duliajan town is also grateful to the head coach of Mumbai FC Des Buckingham. He further thanked Odisha FC for being supportive.

“Working with a coach and staff who believe in you really helps a player and playing under Des Buckingham has tremendously helped me progress both, as a footballer and as a person,” said Vinit who made his India debut in 2018.

“I want to extend my gratitude to Odisha FC and thank the club and the staff for the support they’ve given me. Now, my sights are set on making the most of this opportunity that lies ahead of me and I hope to help the Mumbai City family achieve our goals and objectives.”

A product of the Tata Football Academy, Vinit started his ISL career in 2016 and has played a total of 79 league games so far featuring for Kerala Blasters, now defunct Delhi Dynamos and Odisha FC.

On the development, Des Buckingham is also all praise for Vinit Rai.

“I’m pleased that we are able to secure Vinit with us for another season. He brings a balance and other qualities to our midfield that will be very important for the team. Having joined us midway through last season, Vinit settled into the group quickly and has already demonstrated how important he can be for us, especially during our AFC Champions League campaign. He has exceptional personal qualities and I am confident he will have a really positive impact on and off the pitch in his time here with us at Mumbai City,” the Oxford-born manager said.

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