Bengaluru FC part ways with Udanta Singh; Odisha FC release six players
Hero Indian Super League (ISL) side Bengaluru FC, on Thursday, confirmed the departure of winger Udanta Singh, who leaves the club after nine years. Singh represented the Blues for six Hero ISL seasons since the 2017-18 campaign, making 108 appearances while registering 11 goals and 15 assists during his time with the Blues.
Struggling for words, so we’re keeping this simple.— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) May 25, 2023
Thank you for the memories, Flash. You will be missed! ⚡#WeAreBFC #ThankYouUdanta pic.twitter.com/3xhvLqAFNH
One of the fastest players in India, Singh is a product of the prestigious Tata Football Academy. The Manipur winger signed for Bengaluru FC in 2014 and won many trophies during his time with the Blues including the Hero ISL, Hero I-League, Federation Cup, Durand Cup and the Super Cup title. He was also an important part of the BFC squad that reached the final of the AFC Cup in 2016.
“It is an emotional moment for me, because this club gave me everything. As a youngster at TATA Football Academy, my dream was to play senior-level football for any football club. That I would get to do that for a club like Bengaluru FC was something I never imagined. It has been a beautiful story,” said Udanta.
Singh had a breakthrough Hero ISL season during the 2017-18 campaign, playing an important role in Bengaluru FC’s run to the final. He contributed a goal and seven assists that campaign, which was the joint-highest assist tally that season. The winger produced five goals and three assists the following season, taking his game up a notch as Bengaluru FC lifted the Hero ISL trophy.
“My first memories of Bengaluru FC are still fresh; walking into the dressing room of a champion team and then going on to win all the titles that we did along the way. I’ve grown a lot as an individual, both on and off the pitch. I’ll miss everything, a lot, but it’s time for a new challenge,” Udanta added.
However, the Manipur-born player has struggled to maintain consistency since then. Singh netted just five goals in the last four Hero ISL seasons, dropping down the pecking order. However, he established himself as a fan favourite among the BFC faithful and leaves the club having won six titles.
Saul Crespo, Pedro Martin, Raynier Fernandes among six players to leave Odisha FC
Hero Indian Super League (ISL) side Odisha FC have released six first team players including Saul Crespo, Pedro Martin, Raynier Fernandes, Denechandra Meitei, Lalruatthara Bose, and Karan Amin, the club announced on their social media handles.
The club would like to confirm the departures of @Ruatthara39, @pedro9martin and @karan7amin this summer.— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) May 24, 2023
Odisha FC would like to thank them for their service and wishes them the very best for the future 💜#OdishaFC #AmaTeamAmaGame pic.twitter.com/vX7naqyW8o
The club would like to thank @SaulCrespo23, @Raynier_11 and Denechandra for their indispensable service this season.— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) May 25, 2023
We wish them nothing but the best for the future 💜#OdishaFC #AmaTeamAmaGame pic.twitter.com/hKhHLvCXZs
Except Bose, who signed for the club in 2021, all other players had joined the club on a one-year deal in 2022. Fernandes and Meitei, in particular, had put pen to paper with the club on a year-long loan deal from Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters FC respectively.
Forward Martin, alongside the midfield duo of Crespo and Fernandes featured regularly in the playing eleven for the Kalinga Warriors during the Hero ISL 2022-23 season. Martin featured in 20 games, contributing three goals and an assist despite just clocking 828 minutes. Midfielder Fernandes played the same amount of games for the side, chipping in with three assists. Meanwhile, Crespo supplied two assists across 18 games and was one of Odisha FC’s most key players as the Bhubaneswar-based side qualified for the playoffs for the first time in history.
Meitei was handed a start in four out of the 14 games he played for Odisha FC, with Bose featuring in just 14 games. Amin, on the other hand, did not feature for the side.
Odisha FC will be hoping to sign suitable reinforcements, having announced former Hero ISL winner Sergio Lobera as their head coach earlier this month. The club will look to strengthen their squad and achieve more success, having won the Hero Super Cup and having booked a berth in the AFC Cup 2023-24 group stage.