ISL: League's top shooter ready to get back to business

With stars like Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown in the team, Iain Hume feels that this is probably the strongest-ever Kerala Blasters team, at least on paper.

Iain Hume is the ISL’s all-time top scorer with 23 goals.   -  Stan Rayan

He is quite a popular star here. Iain Hume is one of the early birds in Kochi for the Indian Super League’s new season and he appears to have the made the most of it.

“I have a lot of friends out here, outside football too, it makes it a lot easier for me to adapt here,” Hume, the ISL’s all-time top scorer with 23 goals, told Sportstar at the Lulu Marriott here on Saturday evening.

Hume, the Golden Ball winner in the ISL’s inaugural edition, is an avid video game buff. And earlier in the day, he put out a desperate tweet, “does anyone in Lulu Mall have the new CallofDuty WWII in stock? Let me know please!”

“No, I haven’t got it yet, I put it (the tweet) out because I thought I could get it here.” He is quite a boxing fan too and watches big bouts.

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“But now, we get to work,” said the former Canadian international who is returning ‘home’ to the Kerala Blasters after two seasons with Atletico de Kolkata. “It was nice to get away and bond together as a team,” he said about the month-long pre-season camp in Spain

With stars like Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown in the team, Hume feels that this is probably the strongest-ever Blasters team, at least on paper.

“On paper, I think it could be. But Kerala has had some strong teams over the last few years, it was not as strong in the second season but the first and third the team was good,” he said.

“For the last season, we had some very good stuff.” So which are the teams that look strong this season… who begins as favourite? “It’s hard to say who’s going to win it…Mumbai looks strong, Jamshedpur is a very good team, Bengaluru too.”

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And he is excited with a longer season too. “We’ve got two new teams and everyone’s got a new squad, it’s going to be very interesting this time. The ISL is getting better over the years, earlier, it was just two months, now it’s like a premier league.”

The longer season means that Hume will have a lot more chances to score and raise his record to a new high. “I’ve never looked at numbers but I know I can score goals. But I’d prefer the team to win.”

The youngsters have impressed the seasoned star. “The new coach has brought in many experienced players, he has brought a lot of young guys too, some very good guys,” said Hume.

“We have a good squad put together. Hopefully, we can win the cup this time. These young guys have got a lot of talent.”

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