Odisha FC add more young guns to their ranks

Continuing with their philosophy of roping in youngsters and assembling a young core in their squad, Odisha FC signed 21-year-old midfielder Paul Ramfangzauva and 19-year-old winger Isak Vanlalruatfela for the seventh edition of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL). Both Isak and Paul were part of Hero I League outfit Aizawl FC last season.

"I am really happy that Odisha showed interest in me. The club management are investing a lot in youngsters which is very good for me and my career. I am looking forward to play for them in the ISL and I am sure that it will be a great opportunity for me to grow further," Paul, who played for Aizawl FC's U-18 side before making it to their senior team in 2018-19 season, said after signing a three-year deal.

Isak, meanwhile, was previously a part of Bengaluru FC’s U-18 team prior to his move to Aizawl FC. After signing a four-year deal, the teenager said, "I have always aspired to play in the Hero ISL and I am very thankful to the Odisha FC management for giving me this opportunity and putting their trust in me and making me a part of the team. I am going to give my best and do everything to achieve the club’s goals."

On Odisha’s two latest additions, club president Mr Rohan Sharma commented, “Today I’m very excited to welcome two very special players, Isak and Paul to our club. Isak is an extremely skillful young winger who has oodles of potential. He’s very intelligent and could become the next big winger of India. Paul to me is one of the most unheralded midfielders who played in the I-league. I love how he plays and distributes the ball with confidence. He’s going to be a big part of our club next season and he’s going to create a good midfield engine room with Vinit and Thoiba."

The Bhubaneswar-based club, which finished sixth last season, have previously announced the signings of youngsters Kamalpreet Singh, Hendry Antonay and Saurabh Meher and midfielder Thoiba Singh Moirangthem. They also confirmed Stuart Baxter as their new head coach last week and the Englishman admitted looking forward to developing Odisha’s youngsters in a recent interview.

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