English defender Roger Johnson ready for new challenge in ISL
English footballer Roger Johnson says that hunger for new challenge and huge popularity of the Indian Super League has prompted him to choose to play in the ISL by joining FC Pune City.
New Delhi: English footballer Roger Johnson says that hunger for new challenge and huge popularity of the Indian Super League has prompted him to choose to play in the ISL by joining FC Pune City.
32-year-old Johnson brings a wealth of experience to FC Pune City, having played nearly 500 games in the Premier League and Football League in England, for clubs like Cardiff City, Birmingham City, West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
"ISL is a new challenge for me. The hunger for this new challenge and adventure has pushed me to be a part of ISL and I am looking forward to this new adventure in my career. I feel the league has got tremendous potential and has garnered huge popularity already. It's an intriguing prospect for me and I am looking forward to making a mark for myself here," Johnson said in a conference call.
"England is definitely the best league in the world but India is going to be a new challenge. It goes without saying playing under watchful eyes of David Platt is going to be a completely new experience all together," he added.
He said that the presence of several English players under former Manchester City assistant boss Platt made him feel like home in Pune.
"Well, it feels at home for me here in Pune. I have Nickey (Shorey) and Steve (Simonsen) through my Premier League days, and there is a fantastic camaraderie which all of us share. David (Platt) is one of the finest managers to work with and a renowned name across Europe his expertise is definitely helping the team well and we are well on course for the season," said the six-foot three-inch tall defender.
Asked about Indian players in the FC Pune City team, he said, "The Indian players are setting some real high standards and escalating their game each passing day. It's really nice to see them work hard each day and put in their 100 per cent. Would be great to play alongside them this season."
"With ISL happening, football is definitely going to have a massive impact in Indian sports. There are some big names who are making their way currently to India for the ISL and I am sure it is going to have a positive rub off on all the other Indian players playing alongside them.
"We have a very talented bunch of players with a good mix of international and Indian players. David and the entire support staff is working really hard on us and I feel we are definitely going to make a difference this season. Hope we can give our fans much to cheer about this season."