From playing in the slums of Chembur, to his discovery at 15, to being signed by FC Pune City, Pratik Shinde is on a rollercoaster journey.
Ever since his discovery at the age of 15, Pratik has been regularly followed by many Indian Football enthusiasts. Now at the age of 18, Pratik has already evolved into a better and a more efficient player. Being the first Indian player to sign for a foreign club side, Pratik has been praised by coaches afar. Shinde, is also the first Indian player to sign a professional contract with Southern Premier Soccer league team in US State Soccer. Having represented India at both the U13 and U15 levels, Pratik who operates as a Central Midfielder is known for his craftiness with the ball. Subsequently ,signed by FC Pune City on the second day of domestic drafts, perhaps Shinde would go on to be one of the best Midfielders ,the Indian Subcontinent has ever witnessed, in the company of Trezeguet and others.
“Yes its a Dream come true, its an honor to play side by side with such big players like Trezeguet, Bruno and Belardi. Its an amazing experience till now. Them along with Lenny Rodriguez and D Ravanan are a great Motivation On and Off the field, I Will learn a lot from each and everyone of them” said a joyful Shinde, in a recent interview with The Hard Tackle’s Joseph Solomon
FC Pune City, who already have ties with Fiorentina, went to Florence,Italy for pre-season and training regimes.
“The camp created a team chemistry between us. We are more united now, everyone knows each other very well, and its important to have that bond between the team members and coaches, even though we don’t speak same language. But We are One. It was great,the infrastructure they have is amazing. We got a chance to meet the Fiorentina squad, and play with their B team, it was a great experience, Italy is a beautiful country we enjoyed our stay” recollects Shinde
FC Pune City began their dreams to win the title against Alessandro Del Piero’s Delhi Dynamos on the 13th of October, in a trip away from home.
“ISL will be one of the biggest leagues in the world in coming years. India will create their own super stars, and i’m looking forward to it. We are Here to win” says Shinde who credits the United States for his changed approach towards the beautiful game.
A Manchester United Faithful, Shinde reeks at the thought of him being compared to his role model Paul Scholes “ Yes Paul Scholes has always been my favourite player, and No one can be compared to him. He is on different level, But i don’t want people to remember as the next Paul Scholes, I want to be remembered as myself, as Pratik Shinde” he says
It is no rocket science that Shinde, will develop and evolve among the company of experience and talent. A Happy, Hardworking, Determined and fearless man, Shinde will influence the Pune City franchisee by providing squad depth along with the talent he already has infused.