The talismanic Canadian forward is back where he began after returning to Kerala Blasters ahead of ISL 4.
One of the biggest superstars to have played in the Indian Super League, Iain Hume is the all-time top scorer of the cash-rich league. Hume has been in the league since its inception and is among the few foreign recruitments who have successfully established their presence.
Hume had his first season in the ISL with Kerala Blasters as the former Leicester City striker was in-charge of their attack, and he also won the ‘Hero of the Tournament’ award that year. Hume then joined the ranks of ATK, the arch-rivals of Blasters, and had an incredible two seasons with them. One of the most clinical attackers of his kind, the presence of the Canadian has always bolstered the reputation of the league and his return back to Kochi signal the intent and the goals of the club hailing from the southernmost state of India.
Khel Now’s Kerala Correspondent Shibil Roshan caught up with the striker ahead of the new season for an exclusive two-part interview. In part 1, the forward looks ahead to the upcoming campaign and reflects on his journey so far.
Q: The fourth edition of Indian Super League will start on 17th November and Kerala Blasters will play against your former team ATK. So, how do you feel?
A- I’m really looking forward to it, to be honest. I had two very good seasons in Kolkata and had a very good relationship with the club and especially the fans. I was looking forward to the game being back at the Salt Lake Stadium as well, after a year away from it. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit more excited about having the opening ceremonies in front of our home fans in Kochi!
Hume is back where he began and will be looking to fire Basters to their first ISL title
Q: You’ve been a part of the Indian Super League since its inception, what do you feel it?
A- I love playing out here. The past 3 seasons have been some of the best moments of my career and I’m looking forward to adding to that again this season back at Kerala!
Q: Has the presence of Indian Super League helped Indian players improve their quality of play?
A: I think that’s more of a question to be aimed at the Indian players. But for me, I think it has helped no end. You see the progression of some of the younger players (Sandesh, Anas, Amrinder etc) and the way they are now established national team players & instrumental in the successes of their ISL clubs!
Q: You’ve played for two of the best teams in the league, with whom did you enjoy the most?
A- I can’t say I’ve enjoyed one more than the other, I’ve been very fortunate to play for, in my eyes, the 2 best-supported teams in India!
Hume spent two successful seasons at ATK also becoming the league’s all-time top scorer.
Q: Tell us something about Rene Muelensteen?
A- His CV speaks for itself. He’s coached at the highest level for a very long time. To be heralded by Sir Alex Ferguson as one of the best coaches he’s ever worked with speaks for itself!
Q: One of the greatest of his time, Dimitar Berbatov has huge experience. Do you think that he has the ability to lead the side to clinch the much coveted ISL trophy?
A- Like you said, Berba’s ability & career are unquestionable. I’m really looking forward to playing with him and hoping we hit the ground running and doing our best.
Q: What’s the aim of Kerala Blasters this season? Are you happy with the squad?
A- Our aim is the exact same as every other ISL team. We want to win! It’s, by no means, going to be easy, but I’m sure if we play to our best, we can compete for the trophy!
*THE SECOND PART OF THE INTERVIEW WILL BE PUBLISHED SOON.