PUNE: Precisely one month and two days ago FC Pune City blew the bugle for the fifth season of the Indian Super League (ISL), which will commence on September 29.
At the event held in the city that time, club CEO Gaurav Modwel vowed to win the coveted trophy, after a landmark last season where they reached the semi-finals.
His words weren’t just plain words, they were backed by action, as three days prior to the event in the city, on August 2, FC Pune City signed the ISL’s most prolific goal-scorer who is Iain Hume.
Although the 34-year-old striker is currently recovering from a long-term knee injury, his mere presence in the squad has bolstered the Stallions and took time out to speak with Sakal Times from team’s preparation camp in Goa.
It is well documented that ever since Antonio Habas took the charge of the club, Pune were attempting to get the signature of Hume on the dotted line, but circumstances did not allow that.
But, ever since the Canadian striker suffered a knee injury playing against FC Pune City, the club’s medical staff had been in touch with then Kerala Blasters’ player and offering him all the medical assistance.
“FC Pune City is a very professional club and theyhave assured me of best recovery process and have given me a definite plan to get back on my feet for sizeable match time,” Hume, ISL winner with Atletico de Kolkata, said.
“When I had a talk with Gaurav, I was clear about my role in the club and I personally felt connected with the vision and aim they have,” he further added, talking about how he signed for the club, as Pune not just made a statement of intent but also showed the professionalism and trust the club should show in a player, who is injured.
NO SET TIMELINE
At present, FC Pune City’s pre-season camp in underway in Goa, under the new head coach Miguel Angel Portugal. Former Atletico de Kolkata striker has joined his new team-mates but hasn’t joined the first team just yet and going under a rehabilitation.
“The rehabilitation is going really well and I haven’t started my ball work much but I focus on my recovery more. I haven’t set a timeline of recovery yet but I will make sure I am back on the field as soon as possible,” he said, before adding that the pre-season is going very well, the team is confident and training hard, which he hopes to join soon for training,
Under gaffer Ranko Popovic, the Pune outfit made it to the last four of the ISL. This season, Popovic isn’t around, but the club has managed to retain the core of the squad and added the likes of Hume, striker Robin Singh, defenders Matt Mills and Martín Díaz, attacking midfielder Alwyn George to strengthen the necessary areas.
“The coach and players bring different things in the squad, we help each other improve and develop the game on the field. The transition is going well, the team is looking forward for the season,” he said about joining a fairly settled squad.
Hume also had words of praise for the Spanish coach Portugal, added that the head coach is making sure that the squad trains harder every time they step on the field.