Former Arsenal striker to sign for I-League champions Dempo SC: Report
New Delhi: Rohan Ricketts, who made his Arsenal debut against Manchester United in the League Cup at the age of 18, is now training with I-League side Dempo SC, according to a report in The Times of India.
The English striker struck the back of the net twice in a eight-a-side match during his first session with the Panjim city-based club at the University grounds in Taleigao, Goa, on Thursday.
"If I can describe my experience on the first day, I must say it was `hot`. The training is obviously not at the same level I am used to but the passion is good enough," the former England U-18 and U-20 international was quoted.
"Coach Armando Colaco has the same philosophy as Wenger and it is the same thinking I grew up with. They think alike," added the player who was training with the senior Tottenham squad under former Spurs coach Harry Redknapp until four months ago.
Ricketts played for Tottenham, getting matches under his belt when Glenn Hoddle was the manager, before moving his trade to Canada, Hungary, Moldova, Germany, Republic of Ireland, and now in India.
Having played for some of the biggest clubs in the world under renowned coaches including Wenger and Hoddle, Ricketts still seems hopeful of playing in the I-League.
"If I look back where I started, I will be surprised largely because of my ability and the clubs I played for, the managers I worked with. But if you look at my personality, this is nothing new. I love to take up a challenge and, for the moment, Dempo provides me with that opportunity," he said.
Commending on Dempo`s style of play, he crackled, "I don`t like the ball in the air. I can`t fly. I can see that I fit into the Dempo style. If I continue, I will enjoy my football. The team plays good football and love to keep the ball on the ground."
"I would love to be the first (English) Premier League player to play here. I`ve played in the best league in the world and now I want to help Indian football. I want to take Dempo to the next level and want to bring in improvements, both on and off the field," he added.
Rohan Ricketts is set to be a common sight at Dempo`s pre-season for a week or so before a possible agreement could be reached among the two.