ISL: FC Pune City announce signings of former EPL players Nicky Shorey and Steve Simonsen
Indian Super League franchise FC Pune City has announced the signings of former Premier League players Nicky Shorey and Steve Simonsen for the 2015 edition. The club made their first foreign signing in Costa Rican forward Yendrick Ruiz last week and has followed it up with two more players who have sound experience in England.
Shorey is an accomplished left back, having played a major part of his career in England’s top tier with Reading and Midlands’ clubs Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion. Though he has lost the pace which was a major part of his arsenal during his early days, at 34 he still has enough to offer, especially being quite adept at set pieces as well.
The 34-year-old started his career at Leyton Orient, but it was with Reading that he shot to prominence. He made 267 appearances for the Royals and was voted as the left back in a poll to pick the club’s Greatest XI players. With two international caps to his name, featuring in friendlies against Brazil and Germany, Shorey still is the only Reading player to represent the England senior team in over 100 years.
Shorey had a not-so-successful second spell at Reading after leaving the Hawthorns, and then played for Bristol City before signing up for Portsmouth in January 2014 in a six-month deal.
He was initially deployed as a defensive midfielder at Pompey before being shifted back to his preferred position which led to a revival of sorts for the player. He was rewarded for his performances with a one-year contract extension which came to an end on May 18 this year.
Simonsen is a goalkeeper who started his career at Tranmere Rovers before signing up for Everton in 1998. He spent six years at Goodison Park but rarely managed to break into the first team, making a meagre 30 appearances in his time there.
However, Simonsen’s career turned for the better after signing for Stoke in 2004. He was named Stoke’s players Player of the Year in his debut season and was the Potters’ first choice for four seasons. Though the arrival of Thomas Sorensen saw his chances being reduced, Simonsen did manage to make 166 appearances for Stoke.
He signed for Sheffield United in 2010 where he made close to 100 appearances. After brief spells with Preston North End and Dundee, Simonsen signed up with Rangers in 2013, and managed to become their first choice keeper in his second season at Ibrox. Simonsen’s spell in Scotland, however, came to a bitter end after he was released by the club following involvement in betting, for which he served a two-match ban as well.