ATK may be a two-time ISL champion but they struggled in front of goal last season. They scored just 18 goals across the season, averaging one goal per game. It was a no-brainer that the team had to bring in a reliable striker or two if they harboured hopes of challenging for the title again in 2019-20.
Enter Roy Krishna. The Fiji international’s signing was announced back in June, and it was a big statement of intent from the club. It was clear that the Kolkata-based club were actively plugging the gaps which plagued their campaign in the past couple of seasons.
Krishna was born in Fiji and played for local club, Labasa FC before making the move to New Zealand with Waitakere United, aged just 21. His exploits belied his age though, as he scored 72 goals for the side and won the domestic league five times during his time there, also ending up with the Golden Boot in 2012-13.
In 2009, there were talks of him moving to Europe with Dutch side, PSV Eindhoven but Krishna decided against making the move to a big club so soon in his career.
After a brief stint at Auckland City FC, the striker moved to Wellington Phoenix in 2014, where he really came alive. His poaching instincts saw him score 51 goals for the side, and what really caught ATK’s attention was his records in the 2018-19 A-League season. Krishna scored a staggering 18 goals for the Phoenix, becoming their highest goal-scorer in the process. He was also awarded the A-League’s best player medal for his efforts.
Antonio Lopez Habas returned to manage ATK this season, and his implementation of the 3-5-2 formation has worked well for the team so far. The team has left behind the ghosts of the past and has significantly improved in the attacking third, with their 5-0 demolition of Hyderabad FC the cherry on the cake.
The duo upfront- Roy Krishna and David Williams have linked up well together and their partnership has been talked about a lot.
Standing at a little less than 6ft, he is not the tallest but Krishna more than makes up for it with his intelligent movement. Usually deployed as the lone striker, he made his name as a brilliant poacher in the box but has had to adjust with Williams alongside him.
While Krishna may not have set the league alight so far at the start of his ISL journey, there is no doubt that he will be a key member of the squad as the season progresses. He has the requisite goods, and now has to deliver when needed.
140 years ago my ancestors came to Fiji from Kolkata, India in search of better opportunities. Today marks the start of a similar journey as I join @ATKFC— Roy Krishna 🇫🇯 (@RoyKrishna21) June 18, 2019
in the Hero India Super League to go back to where it all began. #aamarbukeyatk pic.twitter.com/JHjeTS3tMS
His move to Kolkata has made his life come a full circle, and he will want to make it a memorable stay going forward. As for the ATK fans, the figure of him manning the forward line is definitely a sight to savour.
Featured image courtesy: Instagram/ roykrishna21