Odisha F.C. has officially partnered with Premier League club Watford for three years. The move comes as a big boost for the team that made its way into the league in 2019. Odisha, as a team, has shown a lot of promise ahead of next season as they have roped in some high profile names to compete for ISL.
Partnership with a club with a stature like Watford is definitely a huge boost to a team like Odisha. The state is not necessarily known for its footballing prowess. A PL club coming in and partnering with them will definitely bolster football in the state from the grassroots level.
Ben Foster confident that the partnership will do great for Odisha FC
Ben Forster is known to be one of the best goalkeepers in England. Along with being a sensational goalkeeper, the 38-year-old also runs a YouTube channel called 'Cycling GK'. In an interview with ISL, the English keeper said:
"I think the beauty of this is that both teams can benefit from this. Obviously the Indian market in general is so outrageous, they are so hungry for Premier League football. Out there the viewership numbers are just unbelievable."
Having played in the top tier of English football, Foster has played at clubs like Manchester United, Stoke City and West Brom to name a few. He is confident that the arrival of Watford will be a huge boost to an already football-loving country like India. Speaking about this in an interview, Foster said:
"Watford as a club know how to run a club successfully, going out to India especially Odisha and trying to show not only how you do it on the football pitch properly. Getting young players in, showing them how to train properly, how to live properly, but then more importantly how to run a club properly. It can only benefit Odisha massively.
"I think that's one thing we are particularly excited about being able to do is send our coaches out. It's not just football coaches, we can go fitness coaches, nutritionists, business people who can show, how we do it over here. Because I think Watford as a football club over here are tried and tested and you know what you're going to get from us. We are a family oriented club and we do things properly."
Playing in the late '30s, Foster will be out of his Watford contract at the end of the season. He is still fit as a fiddle and could pull off those big saves with the exact same conviction. Him playing in the ISL would definitely be a great boost to the exciting bunch of footballers coming up. While discussing the possibility of the same happening, Foster said:
"The position I'm in is very exciting, where I don't really know what's going to be next for me. I know I'm fit as a fiddle and I know I can still play at the highest level. But where next is going to be the big question. It could be America, it could be India, it could be Odisha. I don't think I've ever been in this position before. I've never been in a position where my contract is expiring and I'm quite liking it. I'm enjoying playing my football as it is now, but I'm excited about my future as well. So without a doubt it's definitely going to be an option. It's going to be something where I need to sort of address it and assess it at the end of the season and see what's best for me."
The 38-year-old was absolutely pleased with the kind of football played in India. He expressed his desire to see an Indian footballer make it big in the Premier League. In his interview, the goalkeeper further added:
"The exciting part for me is coming over to Odisha and trying to implement something that can really improve Indian football especially Odisha. I want to see an Indian footballer over in the Premier League absolutely ripping it up and smashing it up, I think the world needs that and is crying for it."