Striker Thongkhosiem (Semboi) Haokip has penned a one-year deal with SC East Bengal, adding to the team’s attacking options ahead of the Hero Indian Super League 2021-22 season, the club announced on Tuesday.
Haokip joins the Red-and-Gold Brigade from Bengaluru FC, where he spent four seasons. Haokip was with East Bengal in 2017 for a short loan spell from Kerala Blasters FC.
“SC East Bengal will provide a fresh challenge, and that is something I am looking forward to. I have played for East Bengal before, so it’s great to be back. I know the pulse of the fans and that always motivates a footballer,” said Haokip, 28. “Being a striker, it is also a great opportunity for me to work with Robbie Fowler (head coach). He was such a legendary striker himself and I am looking forward to learning so much from him,” he added.
🤝DONE DEAL🤝— SC East Bengal (@sc_eastbengal) September 7, 2021
HE IS 🔙.
𝐒𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐨𝐢 𝐇𝐚𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐩 returns to East Bengal, putting pen-to-paper on a one-year deal that will keep him at the club till the end of the season.
Welcome back, #Torchbearer 🔴🟡📝#SemboiIsBack #JoyEastBengal #WeAreSCEB #HeroISL pic.twitter.com/fV77s2uj98
Haokip began his career with the Pune FC youth academy, going on to then play for the Pune FC first team and making a mark. He impressed in Hero ISL 2015, scoring four goals in six matches for FC Goa, which included a hattrick against Mumbai City FC. Bengaluru FC then roped in Haokip in the 2017-18 season, where he was mainly used in the AFC Cup 2018, scoring thrice.
Haokip made seven appearances for the Blues during their Hero ISL 2018-19 win and scored once. The striker added 14 more appearances to his tally in the 2019-20 season, scoring one goal. He made five appearances last season for Bengaluru FC.