The 32-year-old spoke about his move to India, his career so far and more.
Former Motherwell FC captain (Scottish Premiership), Peter Hartley, is ready to make his Indian Super League debut with Jamshedpur FC this season. With a stellar career under his belt, the defender talks about coach Owen Coyle, the move to India, his journey so far and more.
Here are a few excerpts from his interview with the club:
On playing under Owen Coyle
“The manager has a fantastic reputation in both England and Scotland. Having played against his teams in both countries, they fight until the very end no matter what is the outcome,” began Peter Hartley.
“It’s an attitude I’ve seen he can easily instil on his team and it is something I want to be a part of.”
On the experience of facing Owen’s Burnley team back in 2009
Yes, I played against his Burnley team. We were 1-0 up with approximately 15 minutes left to play. I remember they beat us 2-1; that just confirms the values and efforts he demands from his players.
On what he has spoken to Owen about his role at the club
I actually had a very good chat with the gaffer (Owen Coyle) a few weeks back over the phone. His passion and desire to be successful stood out for me.
Working in an ambitious environment is the first thing I look for when joining a new team. I know for sure this will be present in the squad this season. My role is to be myself and train as I play, to keep everyone positive and moving in the same direction with an end goal in mind.
On why he chose to come to Jamshedpur FC
I had three excellent seasons at Motherwell FC. It’s a club I will hold close to my heart for everything that we’ve achieved. But things change, plus the global pandemic didn’t help things. Sometimes, a new challenge is what is required and I needed to make sure that I chose a club and a manager who can help me grow and improve as a person and player and Jamshedpur FC is the place for that I believe.
On playing against major English teams like Chelsea, Everton, Burnley etc
Experience is earned and not given. I feel I’ve seen every situation on a football pitch within 90 minutes; both good and bad. It’s a lesson to be remembered time and again to make sure that as a team, we know we aren’t going to win every game but we will always do things in the right way and give 100%.
On his fondest memories in football
I would say, in England, it would be scoring the winning goal to take Plymouth and to play at Wembley for the first time in a long time.
Also, I got a chance to play against Conte’s Chelsea team at Stamford Bridge and managed to score in that game; that was special. My fondest memories in Scotland would be playing in the cup finals and achieving our club goal of finishing 3rd in the SPFL to qualify for the Europa League. It was nothing less than the club, players and the fans deserved.
On what makes a great centre-back
For me, communication is very important along with being proactive and not reactive; stopping things at the source before it becomes a dangerous situation helps a lot to maintain clean sheets.
The team needs to keep clean sheets and not just the goalkeeper and the defence.
On coming in and filling the shoes of a senior player at Jamshedpur FC
Both Tiri and (Andre) Bikey are fantastic players and have served the club well. I’m not too concerned about ‘filling boots’ to be honest. I concentrate on being the best version of myself everyday. The challenge is what excites me.
On Indian football and ISL
My close friend (Carl McHugh) plays for ATK Mohun Bagan so, yes, I do know about the ISL. It’s a very competitive league with some extremely good players. It’s going to be a good season.
Any advice for young Indian players aspiring to become center backs
If there’s any advice I can give to any player, it’s to make sure your strengths are stronger and you better your weaknesses everyday. Everybody fails, but not everybody gives up. So do everything to keep moving forward.
Message for the fans
“For the great Jamshedpur fans, I thank you for the support I’ve already received in such a short time. I can see you are passionate, which is a characteristic of mine as well. Let’s give everything we have for a successful season. As they say, we are stronger together,” concluded Peter Hartley.