Hero Indian Super League (ISL) side Chennaiyin FC announced their second foreign player of the season on Wednesday after onboarding Scottish centre-forward Connor Shields ahead of the 2023-24 season.

The 25-year-old forward joins the Marina Machans from Scottish club Motherwell FC. Shields has worked with new Chennaiyin FC coach Owen Coyle at Queens Park FC on loan in the 2022-23 season. He brings with him vast experience from the Scottish and English leagues.

“I am delighted to have joined Chennaiyin FC. I can’t wait to move to India and get started with this exciting new challenge ahead,” commented Shields.

Shields, who has most spent his time playing for various Scottish clubs, has also represented six-time English Champions Sunderland AFC at youth level for two seasons. At Queens Park FC, Shields scored five goals and assisted four in 40 appearances in the 2022-23 season.

Jamshedpur FC strengthen their defensive setup with Provat Lakra signing

Jamshedpur FC completed the signing of defender Provat Lakra from NorthEast United FC on a one-year deal on Wednesday.

Lakra played a significant role at the Highlanders over the past few seasons, making 36 appearances since joining the club in 2018.

The 25-year-old can operate as both a right back and a left back depending on the requirement, and his superior defensive prowess will help secure the Men of Steel at the back.

Provat was born in Kalyani, West Bengal and made his name at the youth level with United SC before making his I-League Second Division debut with Southern Samity in the 2016-17 campaign. Following a successful loan spell at South Indian side Gokulam Kerala in the Hero I-League, Lakra made his big move to the Hero ISL with NorthEast United FC in 2018 and spent a number of years there before now jumping ship to the Steel city.

“It’s a real dream for me to play at Jamshedpur FC,” said Provat Lakra on becoming a part of the Men of Steel family.

“The club has promoted young players from the beginning with the Tata Football Academy (TFA) and senior players and TFA graduates like Pronay Halder are already here to help the younger players. I’m sure that with the help of the coaching staff and the team, I can really help the club do well this season and we can get back to winning trophies.”

The defender also earned some high praise from new Jamshedpur FC Head Coach, Scott Cooper, who has a keen eye for spotting young talent and nurturing their development.

“Provat is an excellent capture for us,” Scott Cooper said.

“At 25 years he is an ideal age and a player who is capable of playing both full back positions and has valuable Hero ISL experience already.

“He played almost every game for NorthEast (United FC) and was a vital part of that team. We feel that Provat fits our profile of players that we are interested in. He is technical and has good speed, his recovery is very good and he has great crossing abilities along with a great attitude.”

Pawan Kumar, Wahengbam Luwang depart East Bengal FC

East Bengal FC announced that they have parted ways with goalkeeper Pawan Kumar and midfielder Wahengbam Luwang on Wednesday.

Kumar joined East Bengal FC ahead of the Hero ISL 2022-23 season and is already a two-time Hero ISL winner with Chennaiyin FC. The Punjab keeper was also a part of Jamshedpur FC’s League-Shield winning squad during the Hero ISL 2021-22 season.

Meanwhile, midfielder Wahengbam Luwang leaves the Red & Gold Brigade after three seasons. Luwang previously represented TRAU, a club from his home state in the Hero I-League before his move to East Bengal FC. During his time at EBFC, the 27-year-old made 29 Hero ISL appearances for the Kolkata side, tallying three assists.