ISL: Hyderabad FC signs Subrata Paul

The Albert Roca-led outfit roped in the former Jamshedpur FC goalkeeper after recently releasing last season’s custodian and captain Kamaljit Singh.

Subrata Paul, who is an Arjuna Awardee, has played for 10 different clubs in the country in his career.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Hyderabad FC announced the signing of experienced goalkeeper Subrata Paul on Thursday. The 33-year-old has signed a two-year deal that will keep him at the club till the end of 2021-22 season.

The Albert Roca-led outfit, which had a dismal debut in the Indian Super League last season, roped in the former Jamshedpur FC 'keeper after recently releasing last season’s custodian and captain Kamaljit Singh.

Subrata, who is an Arjuna Awardee, has played for 10 different clubs in the country in his career.

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The India international has an impressive record at JFC, making 48 appearances and missing only six games while keeping 13 clean sheets. Overall, in six ISL seasons, he played 85 matches for three teams with a league record 26 clean sheets.

“Subrata is one of the most experienced players in the ISL and has played at the highest level in the country for over a decade. He's among the best goalkeepers in the country and there's no doubt that he will bring in quality into our squad along with his leadership,” says coach Albert Roca.

“He has been an integral part of the national team setup over many years, so we're very happy to have him on board.”

Speaking about the move, Subrata said, “The name of Hyderabad always remains synonymous with Indian football’s history. Over the years it has produced so many International stars and the club’s quest to revive glory days has personally appealed to me a lot.”

“Unfortunately, all these years we didn’t have a club from the city, and now that we have one, it didn’t take me long to decide on moving to Hyderabad FC. The city’s love and passion for football is folklore and I look forward to playing in front of these amazing supporters,” he said.

The experienced custodian, who graduated from the famed Tata Football Academy in 2004, joined Mohun Bagan as a youth player before switching over to city rival East Bengal (2007-09). He then moved west to join Pune FC (2009-12).

“Every season is a new one and we look forward to putting up a great show for Hyderabad. Coach Albert Roca is a seasoned campaigner and his inputs and coaching will surely help the club propel forward. I can assure that we will make every team sweat that extra bit when they play us,” Subrata said.

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“We will be starting from scratch and I have big personal targets set for myself and the club. Reviving glory days of the city’s footballing culture is one of the targets, as much as establishing Hyderabad FC as one of the best football clubs in the country,” he said.

On the national team front, Subrata has been capped 67 times while being part of the title-winning sides in the 2015 SAFF Championship and 2008 AFC Challenge Cup. He has also bagged two winners’ medals in the Nehru Cup (2012, 2009) while also featuring in all games for India at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar. He was named the AIFF’s Player of the Year for 2009 and is the only goalkeeper to have won the award.

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