Kerala Blasters FC confirmed the signing of French centre-back Cedric Hengbart for Hero Indian Super League 2016 on Tuesday. This will be the veteran centre-half’s second stint with the Blasters having previously donned the yellow of Kerala in the league’s inaugural edition in 2014.
Hengbart became an instrumental figure at the back for Kerala as he helped them reach the final of the inaugural season, eventually losing out 1-0 to Atlético de Kolkata. The robust Frenchman completed 381 passes with an accuracy of 88.2% besides notching up an assist, 101 clearances and 49 tackles for the Blasters along the way.
Speaking on his return to Kerala, Hengbart commented: “After a wonderful first season with the Kerala Blasters, it feels good to be back home again! The fan support in the first season was impressive and I look forward to playing in front of the home crowd again!”
Season 2 saw the former Caen, Auxerre and Ajaccio defender move to NorthEast United FC. Hengbart made 39 tackles for the Highlanders last year and completed more headers (34) and interceptions (27) than any other player from NorthEast. He will be hoping to return to the Blasters in style by going one step further than their heart-breaking defeat in the final in 2014.
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Steve Coppell welcomed Hengbart to the club. “The return of Cedric will strengthen the team further. Cedric is a highly adaptable defender skilled at positioning and game reading. We are looking forward to a good show in the ISL,” he said.
– ISL Media