Goalkeepers who featured in every season since Hero ISL’s inception
Competing in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) is by no means easy. The physicality, intensity and grueling nature of the league is a challenge and putting the best version of yourself forward every season is perhaps even more difficult.
The stiff competition for places and the high-octane, action-packed nature of the Hero ISL means that there are very few players who have been a part of all six seasons so far. Here we have a look at the goalkeepers who have featured in every Hero ISL campaign since the league’s inception in 2014.
Subrata Paul is one of India’s most experienced players and will go down as a legend in between the goalposts for the Blue Tigers. Known as the Indian spiderman, he made his Hero ISL debut with Mumbai City FC in 2014 after a brief stint with Danish club Vestsjælland.
He stayed with the Islanders for two seasons before joining NorthEast United FC ahead of the 2016 campaign. The Arjuna Awardee then joined Jamshedpur FC for the 2017-18 campaign and kept seven clean sheets in 18 matches, clinching the Golden Glove award.
The 2018-19 campaign didn’t turn out quite as fruitful with Subrata keeping just four shut outs in 15 outings. Last season wasn’t his most successful either as he kept just two clean sheets in 15 matches. Among goalkeepers, however, Subrata has the most appearances in the Hero ISL having played 85 matches. During this time, he has registered 26 clean sheets, while also making 250 saves.
TP Rehenesh was an integral part of NorthEast United FC for the first five Hero ISL seasons. During his time with the Highlanders, Rehenesh kept 13 clean sheets in 49 matches. His most successful season was Hero ISL 2015, where the Kerala-born goalkeeper kept four clean sheets – the most by an Indian goalkeeper that season. He also made 47 saves, the most by any goalkeeper that year.
Hero ISL 2018-19 saw him lose his place as first-choice goalkeeper to Pawan Kumar, limiting his involvement to only five matches for NorthEast. Before the 2019-20 season, Rehenesh made the move to home state club Kerala Blasters FC and kept two clean sheets in 13 appearances. His six seasons in the Hero ISL has seen him make 62 appearances, keep 15 clean sheets and pull off 167 saves.
Before winning the Hero ISL with ATK FC last season, Arindam Bhattacharja spent most of his time on the fringes of teams. He was on FC Pune City’s books from 2014 to 2017 before switching to Mumbai City FC for the 2017-18 season. During his six seasons in the league, Arindam has made 56 appearances and amassed 153 saves.
The Indian custodian joined ATK FC prior to the 2018-19 season and immediately established himself as their first-choice goalkeeper. The last season, in fact, was his best yet in the Hero ISL with Arindam giving Gurpreet Singh Sandhu close competition for the Golden Glove award.
He kept nine clean sheets last campaign and his heroics in the 2019-20 final against Chennaiyin FC, where he made five crucial saves, ensured that he won the Hero of the Match award in the season’s grand finale.
Subhasish Roy Chowdhury
Subhasish Roy Chowdhury has the unique distinction of playing with a different Hero ISL outfit in every season. The shot-stopper was an important part of ATK’s title winning campaign in 2014, where he made eight appearances before suffering a season-ending injury. He has been mostly used as a backup keeper ever since and has represented Delhi Dynamos FC, FC Goa, Kerala Blasters FC and Jamshedpur FC.
Last season was more productive for Subhasish, who earned 15 appearances for NorthEast United FC and made 55 saves, the most by any shot-stopper in the league. However, a bad run of form in goal and just three clean sheets resulted in the 33-year-old losing his place in the starting lineup. In his six seasons in the Hero ISL, Subhasish has made 38 appearances, completed 124 saves and kept 10 clean sheets.