In part 2 the ISL’s top goalscorer of all-time talks Indian football, his toughest opponents and more.
In the first part of his two-part exclusive interview with Khel Now Kerala Blasters striker Iain Hume spoke about coming back home to the Southern outfit, his time in the Indian Super League and pre-season preparations ahead of the new term.
Its been a rocky start to the campaign for Rene Meulensteen’s men with three draws from three home games and just a goal to show for their efforts, despite a star-studded frontline. In Part 2 the Canadian talks about all things Indian football and reflects on the road ahead for world football’s ‘sleeping giant.’ Excerpts:
Q: The recently concluded FIFA U-17 World Cup was a grand success. Do you think that the experience Indians had during the tournament has the potential to help India grow in football?
A- The success of the FIFA U-17 wORLD cUP is obviously a massive positive for the young players and Indian football. I think the next step of hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup will again make massive strides for the nation as a whole. Provided that the players and infrastructure continue to make consistent improvements. A nation like India can achieve anything they want down the line.
A- Mister was a good coach! Controversial to some at times with decisions. But at the end of the day, 1 season, 1 trophy! So credit where credit’s due!
Q: It was understood that you received offers from many clubs other than Kerala Blasters in the ISL. What made you choose to return?
A- I had a few offers and positive, lengthy conversations with clubs. But, as soon as I had a concrete offer from Kerala there was only one place I could see myself going.
Q: You are the ‘Humettan’ of Kerala Blasters fans! Are you happy with what they call you?
A- Of course I am. They call me Big Brother. They have always held me in high regard after ISL 1, as I have them. Their support for me and the team is phenomenal and I will be doing my best to repay that.
Q: Sandesh Jhingan is one of the best players of this era, a player blessed with talent and commanding ability. Your comments on his play?
A- Sandesh is along with Anas (Edathodika) are the two best centre-backs in India. I was with him as a standout youngster in ISL 1 and to see him continually get better is great to witness! He is a very level-headed and committed professional. He is still very young in footballing terms, so the sky is the limit for him and I have no doubt, he will be one of India’s greatest ever players!
Q: The toughest opponent you’ve ever played against in the ISL?
A- For me, Sandesh is horrible to play against. Just a no-nonsense centre-back who doesn’t take any prisoners. Also, my very good friend Cedric Hengbart was very tough to play against. A very good reader of the game and deceptively quick and strong.
Q: Your dream ISL team? (The XI should consist six Indian players)
Iain Hume’s dream ISL XI
Coach- Antonio Habas
Q: Your Dream Team? (World Football)
Iain Hume’s Dream World XI
Coach- Sir Alex Ferguson
Honourable Subs- Ronaldinho, Paul Scholes, Javier Zanetti, Ryan Giggs, Thierry Henry