Peter Ramage will participate in the second season of Indian Super League for Kerala Blasters, according to Sky Sports. The 31-year old who has been at Crystal Palace since 2012, spoke about his excitement to play in the new league. After spending a season-long loan at Barnsley, the English defender has been released by the South London team.
Ramage revealed that he had never given much thought to playing in India, but the move was set into action when Peter Taylor approached Palace chairman Steve Parish at Julian Speroni's testimonial.
"I came down for Jules' testimonial in May, and on the way home I got a phone call from Peter Taylor, who said he'd been at the game and spoken to the chairman," Ramage explains.
"It was just an enquiry; it wasn't something I was thinking about. It wasn't something I was given much time to think about, I had just a few days to make my mind up and weigh everything up."
Ramage’s first move away from England
While the Englishman has played in most of England’s top stadiums, this will be the first time he plays in a country outside England. While Selhurst Park had a capacity of 26,000, he will be playing in a stadium who’s capacity is close to 75,000.
He spoke about what the league represented to players close to the end fo their career.
"From what I've been hearing, the league are looking to bring in established players at a crossroads in their career," he continued.
"Simao, the Portuguese winger, Luisao, the Brazilian centre half – these are players coming to the ends of their careers, but still have a lot to offer.
"They're legends of the game and will still demand the same level they had a couple of years ago, so it's only going to get better and more competitive. I've always wanted to play abroad but I never thought it was going to be India."
Ramage excited to play against legends Anelka, Carlos and Materazzi
Ramage went on to speak about his excitement to play against legends of the game like Nicolas Anelka, Roberto Carlos, and Marco Materazzi.
"Roberto Carlos has been – and still is – one of the best left-backs in the world. I was speaking to Andre, because he knows him from Brazil, and he couldn't speak highly enough of him.
"Nicolas Anelka is still fantastic and has gone for a hell of a lot of money in his time. The season before last, he was still scoring in the Premier League. To pit my wits against these kinds of players is something that I'm relishing.”
The player who started his career at Newcastle coming through their youth academy isn’t a stranger to playing in front of large crowds, but it has been a while since he played in a stadium at the calibre of St James' Park.
"I can't wait," he explains. "I've had 52,000 passionate Geordies baying for blood, and walking out at Selhurst is just as intimidating. I'm pretty much used to it, but I do think it will be a different experience… it's one I'm really looking forward to."
The Cochin based team have also signed 23-year-old youngster Josue Currais Prieto, who was a youth team player at Barcelona.Published 28 Aug 2015, 16:27 IST