Former Indian Super League champions ATK have announced the signing of Cameroonian defender Andre Bikey for the 2018/19 season.
Primarily a strong centre-back, 33-year-old Bikey can also play in the midfield and exhibits great athleticism as well as sound technical ability. Having started his youth career at the age of fifteen with Espanyol Barcelona, Bikey made his professional debut in Portugal with FC Marco in the 2002/03 season.
He joined the Premier League side FC Reading on a season-long loan in August 2006, before joining the club permanently for a £1 million fee in April 2007 under new ATK coach Steve Coppell. He then went on to play for FC Burnley, FC Middlesbrough, and Charlton Athletic.
In his fourth season in the Indian Super League, Andre Bikey will play for his fourth ISL side after NorthEast United FC (2015), FC Pune City (2016) and Jamshedpur FC (2017/18), were he played under Coppell, who also has moved to Kolkata.
“Andre Bikey will add a lot of strength and versatility to the squad. I have worked with him before and his experience and passion for the game makes him a very valuable player,” ATK head coach Coppell said in a statement.
“I am looking forward to joining ATK and helping them achieve success in season five of the Indian Super League. I have much respect for head coach Steve Coppell and that made it an easy decision for me to sign here. The passion for football in Kolkata is one of the best in India, I can’t wait to get started,” Bikey said.
ATK will be flying out from Kolkata to Spain on August 21 for their pre-season camp and will return to the city on September 15. The club will be practising at the Pinatar Arena (San Pedro del Pinatar) in the Murcia region of Spain.