Mohamed Rifnaz has signed with three-time Dialog Champions League winners Colombo FC on a free transfer.
The signing was confirmed by the club, which makes Nippu, as he is fondly known, the 2nd high profile acquisition within the last two days for the talent rich Colombo FC.
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“Great to be back at Colombo FC, where I started my club career,” Rifnaz said, exclusively to ThePapare.com.
Like Charitha Rathnayake, who signed on March 26th, Rifnaz too was a heavy favourite to join Colombo FC for the 2017 season along with his Renown SC teammates Mohamed Fazal and Fazul Rahuman.
However, he opted to stay with Renown for one more year. Captaining the side, he almost led a young Renown side to an unprecedented Dialog Champions League title with an ‘invincible’ season only to be denied by Colombo FC in the final game week. That was the third time in as many seasons that Colombo FC broke the Renown SC hearts.
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“I wanted to stay with Renown for another season as we didn’t have any seniors in the young side and wanted to win the title which we unfortunately lost. My time at Renown was great. Lucky and honoured to have been coached by two of Sri Lanka’s best coaches Roomy and Amanulla,” Rifnaz added.
Another proud product of Zahira College Maradana, Rifnaz represented the Sri Lanka U19 team from 2010-2013 alongside Rizkhan Faizer and Zarwan Johar. In his school career he won many a championship of which the All Island Schools’ Games U19 championship and the U19 Division I Schools’ Football Championship in 2011 & 2012 sits on top of the collection.
Rifnaz presented the Sri Lanka U19 team in 2012 and the U23 team in the next few years before making his senior team appearance in 2015.
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Mentored by Colombo FC Head Coach Mohamed Roomy, who too started coaching at Zahira College in 2010, Rifnaz played for Colombo FC from 2012-2013 before switching to Renown SC in 2014. The attacking midfielder would have his finest seasons in the next three years, the best being in 2017, under Head Coach Mohamed Amanulla, but had to finish behind Colombo FC in all those seasons.
Rifnaz, a favourite of Roomy, represented Colombo FC in the AFC Cup two-legged qualifier against Mohun Bagan in 2017.