Asked for better work ethic from Sahal: Former Blasters star Hume
Former Kerala Blasters star Iain Hume has revealed that he shouted at ex-teammate Sahal Abdul Samad a couple of times in training, and also demanded better work ethic from the Indian midfielder so that he could hit the heights expected off him.
The former Canadian international played with the Kerala Blasters, during the 2017/18 Indian Super League (ISL) season, when they finished sixth under the tutelage of Rene Meulensteen and David James.
Speaking exclusively to Indranil Basu from Sportskeeda, the ex-Leicester City forward pointed out Sahal's exceptional technical ability, but also urged him to work hard to become a mainstay in the Indian football team.
Hume said: "When I returned to Kerala Blasters for the second time, I had the opportunity to train with Sahal. Despite his frightening technical ability, the other side of his game was always in question. I always demanded more from him, and shouted at him a couple of times to work harder during training as well."
Hume, who moved to the sub-continent during the inception of the ISL in 2014, is a popular figure amongst Indian football followers and particularly, Kerala Blasters fans. The striker has played for three clubs — Kerala Blasters, ATK and FC Pune City — and has been involved in several high-intensity games with India skipper Sunil Chhetri.
The 36-year-old striker urged the likes of Sahal, Ashique Kuruniyan and Udanta Singh to look up to their national team skipper, and take inspiration from him. "If Sunil can consistently perform, even at the age of 36, why can't they do the same? They even have the quality to play abroad, but they must believe in themselves. Sunil pushed himself above his limits, and competed with one of India's greatest in Bhaichung Bhutia. In my eyes, he has surpassed Bhutia," opined Hume.
Loved playing for Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata
The ex-Barnsley man feels it was special to represent clubs from Kerala and Kolkata, where the fan following is frevent. "I was fortunate to play for ATK and Kerala Blasters. I fell into the footballing states because fan following in Kerala and Kolkata was huge. Playing in front of the Manjappada for Blasters and ATK fans was amazing. I will look back at my ISL career with great pride," he revealed.
With 28 goals from 53 appearances in the ISL, Hume is one of the best strikers to have played in the league. He was also part of the ATK side that lifted the trophy in 2016.