Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Odisha FC are set to rope in Indian Arrows defender Hendry Antonay on a multi-year deal ahead of the upcoming season, The Bridge can confirm. Antonay, primarily a right back, is being brought in to give competition to first choice right back Shubham Sarangi.
The 20-year-old, however, is quite versatile and can also play as a left back, centre back or a defensive mideo. After completing the signings of forward Samuel Lalmuanpuia and left back George D’Souza, Odisha were looking to further bolster their defence. Antonay, who impressed for Arrow in the recently concluded I-League season, emerged as the perfect candidate.
Hailing from Karnataka, Antonay’s career started out at Bengaluru-based club Ozone FC. He soon moved to Bengaluru FC’s youth setup before joining Pune FC. Before the start of the 2018-19 season, he signed for Chennaiyin FC. However, he was not able to find a place in the first team squad and decided to go on a loan move to Arrows where he would get more meaningful game time.
The decision proved to be critical for the youngster as Antonay, who was also a part of India’s FIFA U17 World Cup squad in 2017, blossomed in the I-League this year. His typical overlapping, coupled with his defensive strengths, earned him a lot of plaudits. He is expected to be an important figure on Indian football’s scheme of things in the days to come, having gained high praise at various points.
“I just want to improve my game. I need to improve technically and become stronger physically. Rest everything is not on me. I just need to work hard and learn more,” Antonay had told Goal.com after the end of the season. If he does stick to his words, Odisha could benefit from the long-term contract.
Meanwhile, the Bhubaneshwar-based club is also set to sign former Hyderabad FC goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh on a free transfer and Saurav Meher, from Arrows.