The former Indian international will represent the North-Indian club in the upcoming season.
I-League outfit RoundGlass Punjab have completed the signing of defender Rino Anto on a one-year contract, the club announced on Tuesday. The 33-year-old was amongst the SC East Bengal ranks until last season and did not get a lot of gametime. He will look to revive his form and help his new employers perform better in the 2021/22 season of the I-League.
The second-tier league competition in India will take place in a bio-bubble later this year in Kolkata. RGPFC are one of the contenders to challenge for the title next term. To that end, they are adding quality players to their squad in preparation of the new season. They recently announced the signing of former Indian international striker, Robin Singh.
Clearly, the club is looking at players who will fit straightway in their starting lineup. The outfit has put in work to resolve the problem areas in their squad after identifying them last season. Rino Anto is an operator that will shore up their defences and be an asset on the wings.
Rino Anto: the experienced stalwart
Rino Anto is in the latter stages of his career and has played across India for various different teams. His first taste of senior football came with Mohun Bagan back in 2009. He moved to Salgaocar FC and then moved to Quartz FC before circling back to Mohun Bagan. His next destination was Bengaluru FC in 2015 and then on loan to ATK in the ISL.
He also spent a brief period of time at Kerala Blasters FC on loan. After moving back and forth between KBFC and BFC, he signed permanently for SC East Bengal in August 2020. However, the right-back comes back to the I-League and will look to add more playing minutes in his bank.
The numbers behind the player
Rino Anto is a seasoned professional who has played extensively in both the I-League and the ISL. He has over 57 appearances in the former and 37 appearances in the latter. On top of that, he has played 15 times in the AFC Cup too. He has played a game each in the Federation Cup, ACL qualifiers and AFC Cup qualifiers.
In addition to those, he has two appearances each in the ISL Playoffs and the Super Cup. He is one of the few players who has won both the I-League and the ISL. Anto lifted the I-League with Bengaluru FC in 2014 and 2016. His ISL triumph came with the Blues again in 2019.
RoundGlass Punjab FC’s ambition
The Punjab-based outfit is a well-run club. They are good at identifying problem areas and the players to fix them are swiftly joining. Addition of Robin Singh prior to Rino Anto is a step in the right direction. The outfit desperately wants to improve on their fourth-place finish last season in the standings.