Back after an injury lay-off which saw him miss majority of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season, Hyderabad FC winger Halicharan Narzary looks like a transformed man in the ongoing season.

It was Narzary who was involved in the last kick of the Hero ISL 2021-22 season, scoring a penalty in the shootout against former side Kerala Blasters FC and guiding Hyderabad FC to their first-ever Hero ISL title.

The 28-year-old looks to have carried on from where he left off with two goals and an assist so far in Hero ISL 2022-23.

An experienced campaigner

Narzary is one of the few players to have featured in every edition of the Hero ISL since its inception. However, it was only after his move to Hyderabad FC in 2020, that the Assam winger started really making heads turn.

Narzary witnessed his best-ever Hero ISL campaign during the 2020-21 season under Manolo Marquez. He featured in all of HFC’s 20 matches that season and found the net on four occasions. It was not a big contribution by any standards, but he showed that he could be counted upon to score goals.

A setback followed in Hero ISL 2021-22 and an injury meant that Narzary was out of action for a prolonged period during the season. He recovered and made his comeback during the latter stages of the season, playing 113 minutes across five games, but could not contribute any goals or assists that season.

However, the defending Hero ISL champions decided to keep faith in Narzary, rewarding him with a one-year contract extension during the summer. Narzary has repaid the faith so far, after a strong start to season. 

Here's a look at how Narzary has fared in the Hero ISL over the seasons:

Season Games Goals  Assists
2014 3 0 0
2015 3 0 0
2016 12 0 1
2017-18 13 0 3
2018-19 14 1 1
2019-20 14 1 2
2020-21 20 4 0
2021-22 5 0 0
2022-23 2 2 1
Total 86 8 8

A point to prove

With Aniket Jadhav’s departure to East Bengal FC opening up a slot on the left wing for HFC, Narzary has taken his chance with both hands. He has has displayed the ability to get into promising positions in the box and link up with his teammates in the final third. 

Narzary was the first Indian goalscorer of the Hero ISL 2022-23 season, and has netted in both of Hyderabad FC’s games so far. Not only that, he is also the leading Indian goal scorer in the league so far and has the most goal contributions for Hyderabad FC in the ongoing Hero ISL season.

Now, he is just one goal away from equalling his best-ever goal contribution tally in a single Hero ISL season despite playing just two games.

If Narzary can keep himself fit throughout the season and continue firing the goals like he has done so far, it could well turn out to be a season of resurgence for him.