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Vijay Nagappan netted Kenkre’s maiden Hero I-League goal against Real Kashmir FC, describing the feeling of scoring on his debut as “Ecstatic”.

The 26-year-old opened the scoring in a 1-1 draw against Real Kashmir FC on the last Friday on 4 March 2022.

The Chennai-born forward has a knack for scoring on his debuts. In the 2019-20 season, Vijay made his debut for former I-League champions Chennai City FC against Mohun Bagan. He came off the bench as a substitute in the 61st minute and scored his first goal in the 65th minute. The forward scored his first goal in Kenkre’s color in the match against Real Kashmir FC. He expressed, “It’s a special feeling to score for this club on my debut and it felt amazing. I would like to dedicate this goal to the people of Mumbai and all those associated with Kenkre FC.”

The forward was roped in by Kenkre FC in the January transfer window for the 2021–22 Hero I-League season. Coach Akhil Kothari handed him his first start in the club’s maiden Hero I-League match against Real Kashmir FC. Vijay expressed his gratitude to the coach and said, “I was really happy for the opportunity the boss gave me. I was glad to see my name in the starting line-up in the club’s first-ever I-League match. Coach always pushes me and motivates me to do more. I appreciate his decision and I am glad that I was able to help the team.”

The forward, with his bag of experience in the I-League and AFC Cup, joined our squad to bolster the attack in January. Vijay first started playing football as a 9-year-old and represented his school Kalikapuram Higher Secondary School in Chennai. He played his youth football at YMSC Academy in Chennai and also represented VELS University. He then went on to play for various clubs in Chennai. In 2019, he started his professional journey with Chennai-based I-League club Chennai City FC and won the coveted trophy in that season.

He stayed with the southern club for another 2 years before joining us in January for the 2021-22 season. “I am really happy that I joined Kenkre FC in January. After 2 years with Chennai City, I felt it was time to take up something new as a challenge and when Kenkre gave me the opportunity, I didn’t hesitate. To date, I am sure that I have made the right decision to join this wonderful club”, he averred.

“Life has been really nice here at Kenkre. Everyone was very welcoming and has been very helpful. The coach, the players are all really friendly. Life is usually tough in a Bio-Bubble but with this bunch, I don’t feel any pressure”, he added.

Our other forward Ranjeet Pandre was Vijay’s partner at Chennai City FC with whom he won the I-League. On his partnership with Ranjeet, Vijay said, “I have a good understanding with Ranjeet since my days in Chennai City FC. He always looks for me when he goes on the attack and I do the same. With Ranjeet, I think by supporting each other we can both score goals or help the team by providing assists.”

After a special day for him at an individual level, Vijay is focusing on what he can do to help the team going forward. “I would love to start as a regular for the club and I want to continue contributing with goals or assists. I am aiming to qualify for the championship stage of the league with the team. I am working hard during training and I will give my all to help the team on a regular basis”, he concluded.

Sagar
March 6, 2022

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