Gearing up for the upcoming 2020-21 season, Indian Super League (ISL) side Hyderabad FC, on Thursday, announced their first major signing roping in experienced goalkeeper Subrata Paul. The Arjuna Awardee who arrives from Jamshedpur FC has penned a two-year deal with Albert Roca’s side till the end of the 2021-22 season.
Subrata brings in massive experience to Hyderabad having featured for ten different Indian clubs in his career so far. In fact, the India-international's three-year stint with Jamshedpur was one of his longest and impactful at a club, as he missed only six games making 48 appearances while keeping 13 clean sheets. In his six seasons in the ISL, he has made a total of 85 appearances for three different teams keeping 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 which will help a lot of youngsters in our team. He has been an integral part of the national team setup over many years, so we're very happy to have him on board,” said Hyderabad FC Head Coach Albert Roca.
“The name Hyderabad will always remain 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 and be a part of Indian Football’s glory and history. Hyderabad’s love and passion for football is folklore and I look forward playing in front of these amazing supporters,” said the goalkeeper who won the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2016.
A vastly experienced custodian, Subrata who graduated from the famed Tata Football Academy in 2004 joined Mohun Bagan as a youth player before switching over to city rivals East Bengal (2007-09). He then moved west joining newly-promoted I-League side Pune FC (2009-12) with whom he enjoyed one of his longest professional stints.
The 33-year-old custodian then turned out for United SC (2012) and Rangdajied United (2013) in the I-League, before joining Danish side Vestsjælland (2014) for a brief spell. The next three seasons saw Subrata play for Mumbai City (2014-15) and NorthEast United (2016) in the ISL, and Salgaocar FC (2015) and DSK Shivajians (2016-17) in the I-League before he signed for Jamshedpur FC via the 2017 ISL Draft.
Speaking about his ambitions with the club, Subrata further added, “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. 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.”
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, the latter was hosted in Hyderabad. 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 also named as AIFF’s Player of the Year for 2009 and is the only goalkeeper to have won the award.