ISL 2017: Mehtab Hossain misses playing in front of Kerala Blasters fans
What's the story?
Former East Bengal midfielder Mehtab Hossain insinuated his excitement at joining hands with English coach Steve Coppell for season four of the Indian Super League as the ex-Blasters player will turn out for the Jamshedpur FC franchise this year, and will play under the guidance of Coppell.
However, he was keen to add that he would definitely miss the excitement of playing in Kochi for the Kerala Blasters, and was looking forward to the challenges this season.
In case you didn't know
Mehtab plied his trade for the Kerala Blasters in the previous season and played under Coppell as the Blasters emerged runners-up. Ahead of this season, Mehtab put his name into the players draft, instead of joining the Blasters.
The Indian Super League is due to start on November 17, and will feature 10 teams, who will go head to head with defending champions Atletico de Kolkata looking to defend their title.
Heart of the matter
Born in Kolkata, Mehtab played for Mohun Bagan and East Bengal FC before making his ISL debut with the Kerala Blasters in 2014. Having represented them for three seasons in a row, the midfielder will represent debutants Jamshedpur FC this season.
He claimed that although Kochi was indeed his passion, he respects the sport and believes that he will strive to contribute everything this season with the new outfit.
"I miss the passion of Kochi. I am a professional and I have to give 100 percent to my team. But I am excited to go back," Hossain said at the ISL 2017 pre-season press meet, in Kolkata.
However, he did not shy away from speaking about the excitement to face his old team when they travel to Kochi for their second game and is looking forward to the battle.
An ex-India international, Mehtab was quick in shutting out high expectations from Jamshedpur FC, claiming that the new team would need some time to find the on-field chemistry, but was quick to opine that Bengaluru FC are the front-runners to clinch the title.
He gone on to add that since Bengaluru FC have retained the core of their side for the three seasons, the understanding would be better, which could suit their style of play.
Jamshedpur FC are scheduled to play their first game on the November 18 against NorthEast United, in which Mehtab will look to strike a rich partnership early on with the likes of Kervens Belfort and Brazilian midfielder Emerson Gomes to ensure that his team gets off to a good start in the league.
Given that Jamshedpur FC are making their debut in the Indian Super League, a lot cannot be expected from the line-up. A rock in the midfield, Mehtab's move to Jamshedpur could well heighten their chances, with the chemistry between Coppell and Mehtab working well for the Blasters in the past years.