The sixth edition of the Indian Super League starts from November 20th in Goa with a biosecure bubble in place. All the eleven teams have already reached Goa and are busy with their pre-season training.
NorthEast United FC who has a new coach this season also roped in six new overseas players.
The Highlanders have signed Dylan Fox the Irish-born, Australian defender from the A-League. The 26-year-old central defender has the experience of playing for teams like Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast Mariners.
The fans of NorthEast United will hope for a rock-solid display from the young defender as they expect their team to live up to their expectations in Indian Super League 2020-21
We at Sportskeeda spoke to Dylan Fox in an exclusive interview about his views about the Indian Super League
Q. How has life been for you during the pandemic?
DF: Life has changed somewhat for me during the pandemic as it has for everyone in the world. I’ve taken it in my stride and found positives from it - one being once the pandemic hit moving back into my family home in Sydney, which I haven’t done for 5-6 years. So, that was something I’m grateful for, and now I’m onto my next challenge & adventure.
Q: Was the decision to come to India to play for the Indian Super League during a pandemic a tough call to make?
DF: I don’t think so. But, of course, you look at it seriously and weigh up all the pros and cons. I feel safe coming to India as I know the team is playing the Indian Super League in a bubble and it's sheltered.
Q: Is money the only factor which is making a host of players come to the Indian Super League from the A-League?
DF: No! not at all.
Money is one thing, but I think we’re finding ourselves in a situation where the A-league has stagnated for a few seasons, whilst the Indian Super League has grown exponentially in all aspects. I believe the Australian players that have made a move into India have always had the thought of testing themselves in another country. The A-league has regained prominence and made these players (including myself) look at it very seriously.
Q: What are your views about the Indian Super League?
DF: It is becoming a league to watch out for, by Asian standards, but the exciting part is that the Indian Super League is still growing, improving, and is on an upward curve in all aspects. All the Clubs are recruiting quality players and coaches. It's an excellent place to play football and to continue to improve my skills as a player. The supporters are also incredibly passionate and fanatical, which I love. Hopefully, soon the restrictions will ease and the stadiums will be full again.
Q: NorthEast United FC has a tag of being underachievers. Do you think this can change this season?
DF: I believe so, yes. After speaking to the Head Coach and Management and hearing their vision for the club this season, I don’t see any reason why we can’t compete with the best and be a top team. I've had a good feeling since I've arrived and that togetherness and team spirit is something we will bring into every game.
Q: What are your views about playing the whole season in one location in a biosecure bubble?
DF: I think it’s the safest with the pandemic in India at the current time. I have no problem with it. At the end of the day, it’s the same for all the teams and from my standpoint, living in a hotel day-in-day-out with your teammates will only bring us closer together.
Q: Did you speak to your ex-teammate Roy Krishna and David Williams before coming to NorthEast United FC?
DF: Yes, I spoke to Roy and Willo, they have nothing but positive things to say about the Indian Super League, and this was a factor that pushed me to come here. I have a good relationship with both of them, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the battles we have on the field this season playing against each other.
Q: Have you had the chance to speak to your coach or teammates this season of the Indian Super League? What are your first impressions about the team?
DF: Yes, I have had the chance to speak to my coach and teammates, and all have made me feel so warmly welcomed. Like I said before, I think of them as a family and ever since I've arrived my impressions of the team are very positive. We look solid across the field and I can’t wait to get started on this journey with the Indian Super League.
Q: Who is your footballing icon?
DF: I would have to say, Sergio Ramos. His presence and physique on the pitch is something I admire. Also, his goal-scoring record for a defender is incredible. I’m sure I’ll get a few with my head this season, but maybe not many as Ramos.
Q: How has your overall A-League experience been, and what are your expectations from the Indian Super League?
DF: My overall experience was very positive. Starting at Wellington Phoenix and growing as a player, then signing at the Central Coast Mariners and securing the 1st place was much needed. I feel now that I’m coming into my prime years and hope to keep progressing, both, individually and collectively.
My expectations from the Indian Super League are high. I am expecting quick games, high-intensity football, and can’t wait for the league to start in four weeks.Published 28 Oct 2020, 23:55 IST