The 24-year-old made 16 appearances for Jamshedpur FC in the 2020-21 season.
“Isaac Vanmalsawma has completed his signing with Odisha FC. He agreed terms and signed a ‘2+1’ deal,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now. This means that he will represent the Juggernauts at least until the end of the 2022-23 season. Odisha are also all set to make the signing announcement soon.
Vanmalsawma’s playing career
After kick-starting his football career with the AIFF Elite Academy, Isaac Vanmalsawma signed for Shillong Lajong in 2014. He played for their youth and second-string teams in the first season, before making his debut for the senior team in 2015-16. During his time at Lajong, he also made his debut for the Indian football team under then head coach Stephen Constantine, coming on as a substitute in a 3-0 win against Bhutan. That match remains his only appearance to-date for the Blue Tigers.
Vanmalsawma stepped up to the ISL in 2017-18, when he was picked up in the players’ draft by FC Pune City. That season, he played in 12 matches for the Stallions and also registered an assist. The following year, he joined Chennaiyin FC and scored his maiden ISL goal in a 3-2 defeat to ATK FC. With the Marina Machans, he also played in the AFC Cup.
Ahead of the 2019-20 season, the midfielder shifted base to Jamshedpur FC, with whom he completed 25 appearances across two seasons. He has also registered a goal and an assist each with the Men of Steel. In ISL 2020-21, Vanmalsawma clocked 785 minutes across 16 games and completed 365 passes. He also made decent defensive contributions, to the tune of 1.56 tackles and 1.06 interceptions per game.
Odisha FC’s pre-season preparations
The Juggernauts had a season to forget in ISL 2020-21, finishing bottom in the standings. They were able to register just two wins from 20 league matches and conceded a total of 44 goals – the worst defensive record by any club in any ISL season to-date.
However, Odisha FC are looking to put all of it behind them quickly, having made some noteworthy signings so far in the summer. The likes of Sahil Panwar, Sebastian Thangmuansang and Lalruatthara have joined them, while Jerry Mawihmingthanga penned a four-year extension. They have also appointed former FIFA World Cup winner David Villa as their Global Football Ambassador, with his agency ‘DV7’ set to bring foreign players to the club in the upcoming season.