ISL 2016 | Kerala Blasters rope in Thongkhosiem Haokip

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© Facebook - FC Goa

ISL 2016 | Kerala Blasters rope in Thongkhosiem Haokip

no photo

Arun S Kaimal

07/08/2016

Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters have signed India U-23 forward Thongkhosiem Haokip for the upcoming third edition of the tournament. The 22-year-old striker played for FC Goa in the second season of the ISL and scored four goals in six appearances to help the side reach the semis.

Manipur-born Haokip, popularly known as 'Semboi', started his career with Pune FC youth academy before rising through the ranks to play for the senior team. Haokip, who was named as the Football Player Association of India’s ‘Young Player of the Year’ for the 2014-15 season, was drafted in by FC Goa in the last edition of the tournament, and he repaid the faith of the franchise by scoring a hat-trick against Mumbai City FC. After Pune FC pulled out from the I-League, Haokip played for Salgaocar FC last season and scored two goals for the Goan club to keep them in the I-League.

Although he is yet to represent the country at the senior level, Haokip has been a regular at the U-23 level and also represented India in the 2014 Asian Games. The arrival of the 22-year-old striker will give much-needed mettle to the strike force of the franchise, which finished at the bottom of the table in the last edition of the Indian Super League.

Expressing his happiness to play for the side coached by former Reading manager Steve Coppell, Haokip said that he is looking forward to playing with the new teammates.

"I am excited to be a part of Kerala Blasters and hope to justify the faith put in me by the coach and the management. I am looking forward to meet and train with my new teammates and coach Steve Coppell," said Haokip in a media release from Kerala Blasters. 

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