Mumbai City FC forward Greg Stewart has been one of the most influential players in the Indian Super League (ISL) in the past two seasons. The Scotsman joined Jamshedpur FC in 2021 and hit the ground running. Stewart played a major part in helping the club clinch the League Shield in just his first season in Indian football. He finished the 2021-22 ISL season as the Hero of the League after contributing 10 goals and as many assists.

Stewart moved to Mumbai City FC ahead of the 2022-23 and continued his fine run. He provided seven goals and eight assists as the Islanders bagged the League Shield in dominant fashion. He was also instrumental for Des Buckingham’s side as they reached the Durand Cup 2022 final, in what was their first appearance in Asia’s oldest football tournament.

As Mumbai City FC prepare to defend their League Shield in the upcoming season and compete in the AFC Champions League again, they will be banking on Stewart to deliver the goods once again. The Islanders may have lost a few key players from last season, but going by what they achieved last season, their supporters will have high expectations from the team again given the quality of players like Stewart in their ranks. 

The former Rangers FC player spoke to the in an exclusive interview as he shared his thoughts about Mumbai City FC’s success last campaign, the upcoming season, the development of Indian players and more.


Mumbai City FC set high standards last season and broke plenty of records. What does the team need to do to replicate last season’s success?

It was a collective effort last season, the way everyone worked and went about their business, on the training field learning from the coaches and the way they wanted to play. I felt the team thrived off that, the style of play. And it’s more or less really the same. There are a couple of new faces that have arrived. It is always nice to have a change. We worked hard in the pre-season, learning the way we want to play, how we want to look and probably just going over that constantly until we get it right leading into the ISL. It’s good we have the Durand Cup, later the AFC Champions League and then the ISL. Everyone’s looking forward to it.

You and Ahmed Jahouh were the primary chance creators for the team last season. How big of a role do you think you will have to play in his absence?

I put pressure on myself to try and produce for the team, with assists, goals and working hard off the ball. We wish Jahouh all the best at Odisha FC. I got on very well with him, so I’ll be hoping to see him during the season. But every team has to move on. Like I said, it’s nice to have new faces in. Hopefully, if I can produce and contribute to the team like I did last season, I’ll be delighted.

What is the best part about playing under Des Buckingham’s system?

Des is a young coach, full of enthusiasm and wants to play a certain way that is attacking football, which is part of how the City Football Group want to play. It is good to be involved in it as a player. That’s how I like to think as well, trying to score as many goals as possible.

The Indian boys have thrived off that as well. They have learned so much last year and even the season before and that’s what gave us a successful season last season - Indian players stepping up to the plate and playing at a high level. You could see that some of the boys went to the national team and produced there as well. Everyone is benefiting. We can actually get better, which is so exciting for us.

Mumbai City FC punched above their weight in the AFC Champions League 2022. You will be part of the team in the upcoming edition. How excited are you? 

They (players) always speak about how good it was and how well they did. Unfortunately, they didn't qualify from their group, but they made a good effort and were just unlucky. We will go there and take it one game at a time. It’s going to be difficult, but that’s the games you want to be involved in. These big matches against other countries and see how good you are against them. Hopefully, we can go make ourselves proud in that competition.

This season will witness a return of head coaches who have a good track record in India such as Owen Coyle, Sergio Lobera and Carles Cuadrat besides some new coaches who will be hungry to prove themselves. Tactically, how difficult is it going to be? 

It’s going to be really exciting for the whole country of India. There’s going to be a lot of good coaches, good teams. Most of the teams are improving again, so it’s going to be more difficult. It makes it harder for us, but we want to go out there and show ourselves again and prove why we finished number one. We just want to continue being at the top.

How much have you seen the league grow since you arrived in India?

The teams are getting better, the Indian players are getting better. Look at the players that are part of the Indian national team now, just from our team. We’ve brought another national team player who was at Hyderabad FC (Akash Mishra), he’s a very good player as well and I have played against him. It’s a great addition to the squad. But the whole of India must be excited to see what the national team is doing and the kind of players they are starting to produce. Long may that continue and hopefully, they just keep on getting better.