Cameroonian defender Andre Bikey joins ATK

Bikey has played for NorthEast United FC, FC Pune City and Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League.

Andre Bikey has played for NorthEast United FC, FC Pune City and Jamshedpur FC in the ISL. Photo: Getty Images

ATK on Saturday announced the signing of Cameroonian defender Andre Bikey for the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL). Bikey has played for NorthEast United FC, FC Pune City and Jamshedpur FC in the league.

Primarily a defender who plays as centre-back, Bikey is also an asset in the midfield and is known for his technical skills and his towering physical presence.

The 33-year-old Bikey began playing with Spanish club Espanyol before moving to Portugal with Marco in the 2002-03 season. After brief spells in European clubs, Bikey joined Russian club Shinnik Yaroslavl in 2005. He impressed everyone in the English Premier League, playing for Reading on a season-long loan in August 2006, before permanently joining the club in 2007, under Coppell. Since then, he has played for sides such as Burnley, Bristol City, Middlesborough and Greek club Panetolikos.

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Bikey represented his nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments — in 2006, in 2008, and in 2010. He was also a Cameroonian national squad member at the Summer Olympics in 2008.

‘Strength and versatility’

“Andre Bikey will add a lot of strength and versatility to the squad. I have worked with him before and his experience and passion for the game makes him a very valuable player,” ATK head coach Coppell said in a statement.

“I am looking forward to joining ATK and helping them achieve success in season five of the Indian Super League. I have much respect for head coach Steve Coppell and that made it an easy decision for me to sign here. The passion for football in Kolkata is one of the best in India, I can’t wait to get started,” Bikey said.

ATK will be flying out to Spain from Kolkata on August 21 for its pre-season camp and will return to the city on September 15. The club will be practising at the Pinatar Arena (San Pedro del Pinatar) in the Murcia region of Spain.

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