ATK star Roy Krishna: Coming to Kolkata, it feels at home

ISL side ATK's biggest signing of the season Roy Krishna had won the golden boot in the A-League last season, playing for Wellington Phoenix.

Roy Krishna bagged 18 goals and four assists in the A-League last season.   -  Twitter (@RoyKrishna21)

About 140 years after his ancestors sailed off from here to the south-pacific archipelago Fiji in search of better opportunities, Roy Krishna is back where it all began in his bid to reconnect the dots.

The 32-year-old, who won the Golden Boot (18 goals, four assists, 25 games) for Wellington Phoenix in the A-League last season, is the biggest signing of ATK this season.

When ATK contacted the Fiji captain earlier this year, Roy Krishna could not turn it down as it coincided with the 140th year of Girmityas (indentured labourers from India) landing in Fiji in search of better opportunities, his ancestors were also part of them.

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“It marks the start of a similar journey to return to the same where it all began. This was my first time here during the Puja. The city is very good. Coming here, it feels at home,” Krishna, who has 23 goals in 35 appearances, said in his first interaction here.

“ATK made me feel ‘most wanted’ and I could not turn it down. It kind of made me feel that my ancestors were asking me to come back. I want to reconnect with my roots,” Krishna, who is the only player from 148th ranked Fiji to score a goal in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup, said.

Despite the intense training sessions, Krishna has managed to visit a few pandals here.

“It’s a blessing to be here during the Durga Puja festival. It was really good to go out there and see the pandals,” he said.

“Training is very intense and so far it’s been very good. The players are gelling well. It’s great to be here,” the Fijian’s goal-scoring prowess said.

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Asked about his opinion on Indian football, Krishna said: “In 2006, India came to Fiji and played a few games. I saw the team and got to know about the leagues. I also watched a few ISL games. The Indian players are very tough and play aggressive.”

Roy Krishna began his career with Waitakere United in the New Zealand Football Championship as he also trained with Wellington Phoenix, but wasn’t offered a new contract.

During that time, it was also reported that PSV Eindhoven would sign him, but the move didn’t materialise. With United, Krishna scored 55 goals in 75 appearances.

For the 2013-14 season, Krishna moved to Auckland City, who played in ASB Premiership and were also rivals to his previous outfit.

In January 2013, Roy moved to Wellington as his value has gone up since then and he has scored 51 goals in 122 appearances.

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