Goal-machine Roy Krishna eyes a good show in the AFC Cup after extending his stay at ATK Mohun Bagan
ATK Mohun Bagan have confirmed on Thursday that 2020-21 Hero-of-the-League Roy Krishna, who scored 14 goals and provided eight assists last season, is going to stay at the club, which means he will be seen participating in the upcoming AFC Cup as well as the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) later this year. This news is a big boost to the Mariners who are kicking off their AFC Cup (Group D, South Zone) campaign next month in the Maldives.
"The love of members and supporters of the club and the people of Kolkata has made India my second home. Nevertheless, I was a little hesitant to come here because of the covid situation. But after the club management assured me and my family of safety, I signed the new contract. I thank Sanjiv Goenka, the principal owner of ATKMB and his team for putting their trust in me. The members and supporters of the club always inspired and supported me virtually in many ways. I am overwhelmed by the way the Green-Maroon supporters have honoured my work from day one,” Krishna told the ATKMB Media Team.
"I will play under the coaching of Antonio Lopez Habas for three years in a row now. This is a good aspect because we have known each other for long. It shows the foresightedness of the club management. They respect our hard work. Like last time, coach and all of us will work together again.
"I always give my best so that we can win the trophy. I try to win all the matches for the club. Despite playing well last season, we could not win the trophy. But all that is past now. I want to look ahead. I have to play in the AFC Cup. We have a great opportunity to establish the club in Asia. I am confident we will do well in this tournament.
"I know that the club has signed a number of good footballers this time. I am looking forward to practising with them. I hope I can show some magic in the matches with all of them.
“For the first time in my life, I will play in the AFC Cup. All the teams will be well prepared for this tournament. We will also try our best to win all the matches. Our goal will be to go to the next round. I am hopeful to join the club’s practice very soon and give my best in Maldives.
“The situation in my country, Fiji, is very bad. The number of Covid infected people and death is increasing every day. I have trained to keep myself fit at home despite various restrictions.
“I am honoured to declare on a special day that I will be on the field again wearing the Green-Maroon jersey. I hope the members-supporters of the club will be happy and will support me like before,” he added.
The 33-year-old made his move to India when he joined ATK FC ahead of the 2019-20 season from A-League side Wellington Phoenix. The striker didn’t take long to prove his quality and become a fan favourite. He scored 15 goals and provided six assists as the Kolkata side won their third Hero ISL trophy -- most by any team to date.
The Fijian then represented ATK Mohun Bagan in their debut Hero ISL season in 2020-21 and played a huge role in their reaching the grand finale where they lost to Sergio Lobera’s Mumbai City FC. Earlier this month, the Mariners had also confirmed the extension of Carl McHugh’s contract.
ATK Mohun Bagan have made big waves in the transfer market so far with the signings of Joni Kauko, Hugo Boumous, Ashutosh Mehta, Deepak Tangri, Liston Colaco, Amrinder Singh and Bidyananda Singh. Krishna’s stay is only going to reinforce the belief that Antonio Lopez Habas’ men are eyeing nothing less trophies in the upcoming season.
The AFC Cup is first on their radar. They start their campaign on August 18 against the winner of the match between fellow Hero ISL side Bengaluru FC and Club Eagles from the Maldives. Habas’ men then will play Maziya Sports and Recreation on August 21, and in their last group game, they will line up against Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings on August 24.