With season three of the Indian Super League set for an October 2016 start, the teams are wasting no time in announcing the addition of new players. Mumbai City FC have completed a flurry of overseas signings so far, and their Maharashtra rivals FC Pune City have also not lagged behind.
On Tuesday, the Hrithik Roshan co-owned side announced the addition of former NorthEast United FC hotshot defender Andre Bikey in a rather unique way. The utility player from Cameroon is seen coming out of a Poke ball in a short video.
Pokemon Go, a worldwide rage at the moment, is a smartphone game that allows android and iOS users to capture Pokemons using their device's GPS and the camera. Although the game hasn't released in India yet, this is probably the first time any football club around the world has capitalised on the Pokemon Go app to announce their signing.
Bikey, 31, appeared in nine games for NorthEast United FC under Cesar Farias last season and got on to the scoresheet once. This is the first time the former Reading man, who also represented Cameroon in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, will be playing under the experienced Antonio Habas, former Atletico de Kolkata coach, at FC Pune City.
"I am thrilled to be a part of FC Pune City. It's good to come back and play in this ever-growing league with a professional outfit like this. My efforts will be to ensure Orange Army has more reasons to cheer."
The Pune side have also announced the addition of 31-year-old Spanish midfielder Bruno Arias, who was also a part of NorthEast United FC last season. "Bruno brings that Spanish touch on the field with his immaculate passing. On the other hand, Andre brings the solidity and strength at the back. Their addition to our squad shows that we are determined to win," said Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan.
The duo joins other foreign players, including Spanish midfielder Pitu, former FC Goa midfielder Jonatan Lucca, defender Eduardo Ferreira and Senegalese forward Momar Ndoye ahead of ISL 2016.
Watch Andre Bikey come out of the Poke ball: