Chennai, August 31, 2019: Chennaiyin FC today completed the signing of 23-year-old goalkeeper Vishal Kaith on a long-term permanent deal. The talented shot-stopper joins CFC from Hyderabad FC for an undisclosed fee.
In conversation with the club from Goa, where he is currently with the Indian senior team ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Kaith shared, “This is a fresh start for me in my career. I am joining a champion team in Chennaiyin, and I aim to contribute to the club’s future success by working hard and performing when called upon.”
Asked on what convinced him that Chennaiyin is the right place for him, he answered, “I have heard only good things about the club. Chennaiyin are two-time ISL champions, so they know what it means to succeed. At such a place, the mentality is always to compete hard and improve. The better the team, the better the chances of improving and excelling. And I am sure that CFC is the right place for me in that regard.”
Kaith comes from the snowy and hilly region of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Hailing from a small town called Rohra near the state capital of Shimla, Kaith was first spotted by the state sports hostel, with the coach there drafting him as a goalkeeper for his physique and height advantage.
“I represented the Himachal Pradesh state team at the U-16 and U-19 levels, and was then picked by the AIFF Elite Academy. The coaches there honed my skills and really helped me improve in all aspects. Gaining match experience also helped me greatly,” he said.
Kaith, who has represented India across the youth age-groups, impressed one and all by his showing in the 2017-18 ISL season with FC Pune City. The former Shillong Lajong keeper kept seven clean sheets in 17 appearances, proving instrumental as FCPC qualified for the semis. “That season (ISL 2017-18) I would say was definitely my best so far. It gave me a lot of confidence and self-belief,” he said.
Kaith comes across as a shy and reserved person, from the way he speaks. Asked on how he must transform his demeanour when on the pitch, he says, “It is important to be aggressive during the match. One of my coaches told me at a young age that a goalkeeper must always command and lead his defence. So I have to be vocal and aggressive; also once you’re on the pitch, the mood transforms automatically.”
Looking ahead at his CFC career and what lies in store, Kaith commented, “I have to work hard and improve. I have a long, long way to go. I am sure I will settle in well with the team, especially within the goalkeeping contingent with an experienced presence in Karanjit Singh, from whom I can learn a lot and improve. I am excited for what lies ahead. I am also excited to finally meet and play for the brilliant fanbase the club is privileged to possess.”