Hero ISL winner Pearson returns to Motherwell
Stephen Pearson joined Scottish club Motherwell for the remainder of the Scottish Premiership on Thursday after helping Atlético de Kolkata to a second Hero Indian Super League title last year. The all-action midfielder finished runners-up with Kerala Blasters FC in the inaugural edition of the Hero ISL before clinching the trophy with ATK last season.
The former Scottish international, who began his career with Motherwell, will be returning for a third stint with the club. "Everyone knows the affiliation I have with the club, I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. It is a good place to come and work, so it ticked all the boxes for me and hopefully it suits Motherwell in the short term," said Pearson at a press conference organised by Motherwell.
The 34-year-old also spoke in glowing terms of his time in India with Kolkata. "It was very good. I went out and did pre-season in Madrid for a month and then we flew for the season beginning in October and finished the season off just before Christmas. We managed to win the league, which was great. So, it made up for the big decision to go out there in the first place, it kind of justified that by coming back with a winner's medal," said Pearson.
He added: "This will only be the fourth year [of the Hero Indian Super League] coming up now, so it is still in the early stages. It is a good competition, only over a short period of time, so the games are thick and fast with lots of travelling - that is one of the things I found quite difficult, the travelling side of it. But I could not speak highly enough of the league. Everybody out there is superb, they try to be as professional as possible. They have got a lot of experience and big names out there and they are trying to build up grassroots level and start from the bottom."
Pearson netted twice for Kolkata in Hero ISL 2016 and once for Kerala in his sole season with the Kochi-based outfit in 2014. His first appearance in his third spell for Motherwell could take place on Saturday against Hearts, who themselves have another Hero ISL star within their ranks in the form of the Blasters’ marquee player from last season, Aaron Hughes. The Northern Ireland international isn’t the only Kerala player plying his trade on the British Isles at present. Haitian youngster Duckens Nazon has also joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in the second tier of English football and is currently training with their under-23 squad.