Odisha FC on Wednesday announced that five players from last season's Under 18 side have signed professional contracts with the senior team.
After an impressive season in the Elite League, defenders Jones Lalthakima (captain in the previous season) and Ronaldo Wairokpam, midfielder Nischay Adhikari and forwards Rishab Dobriyal and Akshunna Tyagi have been drafted into the OFC senior team ahead of the seventh edition of the Indian Super League.
Speaking on the graduation of the youngsters, Club President Rohan Sharma said: "I am very happy to see our U-18 boys graduate to our senior squad. This is what Odisha FC is all about, developing our own talent for the team. Credit goes to U-18 coaching and scouting team for identifying and working on these boys so that they are able to take the next step.
"Credit must also go to the boys for working hard and achieving their first step into becoming key members of our squad. I hope they keep putting in the same drive and determination to become the stars we know they can be."
Expressing his delight, youth team coach Sandeep Alhan stated: "Being the youth team coach this is a very satisfactory moment for me that our five youth players are ready to play at the professional level. They have shown their potential and also helped the team to reach the final round of Hero Elite League.
"This is the most important and challenging transition phase for them and they have to fight strong to earn their place in the starting lineup. I wish them all the best for a successful season and future."