Adam le Fondre and Gary Hooper are two incredibly talented strikers to who have signed for Indian Super League clubs this season. Gary Hooper finds himself in a star-studded Kerala Blasters FC squad filled with players such as Vicente Gomez, Bakary Kone, and Costa Nhamoinesu.
Gary Hooper spoke to Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview about playing in the Champions League, scoring against Premier League sides, and his expectations of the ISL season.
Q. You have played for some big clubs in the UK and Australia. How does it feel to sign with Kerala Blasters (one of the biggest clubs in India)?
Gary Hooper: I feel really proud and happy to have signed for one of the biggest clubs in India. I’m really excited for the season to start. I want to give my best and score goals for our fans and help the team.
Q. Can you describe the experience of playing alongside/ against some of the best players in the world in the UEFA competitions?
Gary Hooper: I’ve played against a few of the best players in the world in the Champions League. It was an amazing experience as these players are on another level in terms of their skill and mentality. They are prepared and always turn up in the big games.
Q. What is the most memorable moment you have had while playing in the Premier League?
Gary Hooper: The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world. My two most memorable moments in the Premier League was my debut against Aston Villa and when I scored my first goal against West Ham United.
Q. If you had to pick your most memorable goal, which one would it be?
Gary Hooper: So far, the most memorable goal of my career is against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League at Celtic Park, which helped my side reach the round of 16 stage.
Q. What according to you is the most important attribute for a striker or a center-forward?
Gary Hooper: To be a top striker, one needs to score goals and help the team win. It is also important for a striker to have the composure and awareness to hold up the ball and get others involved in the attack.
Q. Have you spoken to anyone in your new team? And what do you expect from your first season in the ISL?
Gary Hooper: I have had the chance to interact with my new teammates through our regular Zoom sessions. I’m looking forward to scoring as many goals as I can this season and help the club compete for top positions.
Q. Have you been following the ISL while in Australia? What is your impression of the league so far?
Gary Hooper: Since I was with the Wellington Phoenix, I haven’t gotten the chance to follow ISL. But I have heard a lot about the Indian Super League, and it appears to be very exciting too. I’m eagerly looking forward to testing myself and seeing how I perform this season.
Q. What was it like to win the Scottish Premier League with Celtic two times in a row?
Gary Hooper: We were unlucky to miss out on the league during my first season. But it was a very nice feeling to lift the trophy twice in a row later. And of course, it was extra special for me to win the Golden Boot after scoring 5 goals in the last game of the season.Published 27 Oct 2020, 17:04 IST