Kerala Blasters sign Andrew Barisic and Penn Orji

David James (L) and Trevor Morgan announce new signings.

Kerala Blasters announced today that they had signed up Andrew Barisic and Penn Orji to bolster their frontline attack in the forthcoming Hero Indian Super League.

Trevor Morgan, assistant coach, Kerala Blasters, stated, We are delighted to sign on Andrew and Penn as part of this wonderful team. Their skills and experience will help us bolster our frontline attack. Kerala Blasters is a truly special team and Andrew and Penn will bring their own brand of uniqueness to the Kerala Blasters”.

Orji and Barisic bring their Indian experience to the pitch, as well as having an established relationship with Morgan. The Nigerian central midfielder and the tall and strapping Australian striker of Croatian origin have both played together at East Bengal under the English-Australian gaffer. Both played stellar roles in East Bengal’s exhilarating run to the semi-finals of the AFC Cup in 2013. Barasic scored a brace in the group match against S-League champions Tampines Rovers as did Orji against Sai Gon Xuan Thanh of Vietnam.

I am delighted to be selected for the Kerala Blasters. This is an exciting time in Indian football and I am looking forward to playing back in India again. I feel privileged to bring my passion and determination for success to the Kerala fans and under the watchful eye of such a successful and iconic owner, Sachin Tendulkar. I am determined to work hard and play harder.

Andrew Barisic, Kerala Blasters striker

Barasic signed his first professional contract in 2004 with Melbourne Knights, and then left in the summer of 2006 to play for Germany-based Oberliga Nord Club, Arminia Hannover. In December 2007 he signed with his former club Melbourne Knights in the Victorian Premier League, followed by stints with Gold Coast United, Arema Indonesia and East Bengal. He played for Hong Kong First Division League Club South China in the 2013-2014 season.

The Canberra-born 28-year-old striker is thrilled about playing in the Hero Indian Super League. "I am delighted to be selected for the Kerala Blasters. This is an exciting time in Indian football and I am looking forward to playing back in India again. I feel privileged to bring my passion and determination for success to the Kerala fans and under the watchful eye of such a successful and iconic owner, Sachin Tendulkar. I am determined to work hard and play harder.”

Orji, 23, has been playing in India since 2009 when he first trooped out with JCT before being lured to the ‘city of joy’ the next season to play for East Bengal. His dribbling skills and goal-scoring ability make him an attacking threat and he has won the Federation Cup and Kolkata league with the red-and-golds. Last season, Orji made an ill-fated move to Mohammedan Sporting who were relegated from the I-League.

David James, marquee player and manager of team Kerala Blasters, said, “Andrew is welcome addition to the team, with previous experience in not only India, but different countries and cultures. A regular goal scorer, he will be a crucial member of a very competitive squad.”

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