Owen Coyle and Sandy Stewart convinced me to join Jamshedpur FC: Greg Stewart
With the experience of eight seasons in the Scottish Premiership and two in the EFL Championship, Jamshedpur FC’s new signing Greg Stewart can be considered as one of the key players in their squad for the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season.
Jamshedpur FC finished in sixth position last season and were only four points adrift of the semi-finals spot. Now, looking forward to the new season, the signing of a high-profile player in the face of Greg Stewart makes their intention clear.
The 31-year-old Scotsman spent his developmental years at Rangers FC’s academy till he was thirteen. After which, he joined the youth setup of another Scottish Premiership club, Heart of Midlothian FC. As fate would have it, he returned to Rangers FC in 2019 and lifted the Scottish Premiership trophy of the 2020-21 season.
Ahead of the upcoming Hero Indian Super League 2021-22 season, indiansuperleague.com caught up with Stewart to discuss his decision behind coming to India, his targets for the upcoming season and more.
Talking about the expectations everyone has from him, he said, “My position is at the top end of the pitch and my job is to get the numbers up by assisting my teammates or by scoring goals. And if we play together and everyone gives a 100%, we know that we can make the play-offs and then try and go on to win the ISL.”
“I am one of the senior players in the squad and I take it as my responsibility to help and improve the younger generation of India and help them improve in different aspects of the game,” he added.
Jamshedpur FC kicked off their pre-season camp in Goa. So far, they have played two practice matches, in which they won 2-0 against Northeast United FC and drew 1-1 against Bengaluru FC.
Describing the pre-season training, Stewart informed, “It’s been quite positive so far and I am looking forward to the season to begin. I already feel like I have been here a long time, and we still have 3 weeks of pre-season left before our first game, which includes 3 more pre-season games.”
This is his first stint outside of the United Kingdom. Explaining his decision to come to ISL, he revealed, “It was basically my conversations with Gaffer (Owen Coyle) and Sandy (Stewart) that made me keen to come here and my eagerness to learn from them. They explained how it is out here and convinced me to join. I still feel that I am young and can keep learning, so it is a new adventure for me, and I am ecstatic to go into the new season with my new teammates.”
Stewart played under Liverpool legend Steven Gerrad in his two years at Rangers FC. While emphasizing on his time there and working with Gerrad, he said, “Steven was an elite footballer on and off the pitch. You learn the little things you wouldn’t even think about. Off the pitch as well, he is very disciplined and top level on the pitch. Each day in training he wanted us to give everything. He would really pay attention to the little details which helped the team improve a lot.”
Owen Coyle and his troops are set to get the season rolling on 21st November against SC East Bengal. With the addition of top-notch quality players like Greg himself, and Jordan Murray among others, the Red Miners would hope to have a flying start to their campaign.