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Yash Mhatre hopes to extend decade-long Kenkre love affair in Hero I-League

AIFF Media Team

NEW DELHI: As the world brings in a celebration of love on Valentine’s Day, striker Yash Mhatre revels in his long-time commitment to boyhood team Kenkre FC, for whom he will turn out in the Hero I-League as the club makes its debut at this level. Mhatre has been with the Mumbai-based side for over a decade now and it still means a lot to him to put on the Kenkre shirt each day.

“It’s been a long history with the club for me as a player and it’s exciting to have made the progress with them and I hope the club continues to grow,” he said.

It has been five years since a club from the Maximum City played in the Hero I-League and Mhatre believes it is a great confidence booster for local young players to know that they have a platform to play at a high level in Indian football.

“Young players from Mumbai now have a chance to play in the Hero I-League without leaving their home. It is always a different feeling when you are playing for your hometown team,” said Mhatre.

As the 2021-22 Hero I-League season ground to a halt after just one round of games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenkre FC’s agonising wait for their first game went on.

“Waiting is never a pleasant feeling, especially when you have prepared so well. But this extra wait has only made us more positive,” stated Mhatre. “The energy is always high at the start of every season, but we want to make sure that it stays the same till the very end. The team is fit and eager to perform.”

The 26-year-old managed to get on the scoresheet in the Hero I-League Qualifiers last year and feels he is ready to do battle with the physically imposing Hero I-League defenders.

“Physically, I’ve always been comfortable in my game. I believe it’s the sharpness that gets you the goals and I feel sharp in training and that should continue in the games,” he said.“I have set my targets and I promise that the team and I will give our best in the upcoming Hero I-League,” he concluded.

By Tanay Apte

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