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Vasco SC rope in former East Bengal & Kerala Blasters star midfielder Penn Orji

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar

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The 27-year-old Nigerian last played for NBP Rainbow AC in the Calcutta Football League.

Vasco SC have made a big swoop, bringing former Kerala Blasters midfielder Penn Orji on board to boost their chances in the Goa Professional League. Orji, who had gained prominence playing for Kolkata giants East Bengal in the past, turned out for Rainbow AC in the Calcutta Football league (GPL) earlier this year.

It is believed that Orji has been brought in to to boost their midfield, which hasn’t been performing up to the mark so far. An experienced customer, the Nigerian midfielder has proved himself in both the I-League and the Indian Super League in the past. After gaining prominence for Punjab giants JCT, Orji was snapped up by East Bengal in 2010 and rose through the ranks as an energetic, effective midfielder.

"I am extremely delighted to sign for Vasco. The coach has given me the opportunity and I will make sure that I give my best to the club," Orji said speaking exclusively to Khel Now.

The Nigerian midfielder made around 36 appearances for the Red and Gold Brigade, becoming a fan-favourite because of his sublime skills in the middle of the park. He also scored 12 goals in those appearances, helping East Bengal record a lot of success in the I-League and other competitions, during his years at the club. He later played for Mohammedan Sporting, making around 23 appearances in a season for them.

In his first and only season in the ISL, Orji made around 12 appearances for Kerala Blasters, scoring two goals. He helped guide David James’ team to the final, where they lost to eventual winners ATK.  

After playing for the Blasters, he also played for Shillong Lajong in the I-League before getting a move to Polish side Stal Krasnik in 2016. However, he could only make around seven appearances for the Polish outfit before deciding to return back to India. Orji was snapped up by Kolkata side Rainbow AC, helping them record much success.


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The midfielder was a key cog in Rainbow’s impressive CFL campaign, which saw them finish in fifth place in commendable fashion.

Vasco’s head coach Micky Fernandes voiced his delight at signing the experienced Nigerian. Speaking exclusively to Khel Now after completing the acquisition he said, “We are happy to have him in the team. We wanted someone experienced in the midfield and with his arrival, I think our team will get stronger."

Not only will Orji’s arrival bring an experienced head to guide the young players at the Goan club, but it’ll also attract more spectators because of the reputation of the former East Bengal midfielder. He’s proved to be a dazzling player to watch in the past and will definitely give it his best to try and improve Vasco’s fortunes in the GPL.

Published: Mon Dec 24, 2018 04:01 PM IST

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