In the Stands: Jason Cummings on joining Mohun Bagan SG, his love for the fans, and more
The past two years have been nothing short of extraordinary for Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s new striker Jason Cummings. Having spent the majority of his professional career in the United Kingdom, he joined A-League side Central Coast Mariners in 2022 midway during the season and finished the campaign as their top scorer.
The past two years have been nothing short of extraordinary for Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s new striker Jason Cummings. Having spent the majority of his professional career in the United Kingdom, he joined A-League side Central Coast Mariners in 2022, midway during the season and finished the campaign as their top scorer.
His impressive stint with the Mariners saw him being rewarded with his first senior cap for the Australian football team that year. Cummings had previously represented the Scottish national team in two friendlies earlier, but was eligible to represent Australia, his mother’s homeland. Later on, he earned a surprise call-up to the Socceroos 26-member squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, going on to make a solitary appearance at the mega event.
Cummings continued his fine form in the league during the 2022-23 season, leading the Mariners to their second league title after 10 years. In the A-League final, he led the way by scoring a hat-trick, also setting a new club record for most goals scored in a single season. For a player who had settled in a new environment and country, it would have been easy for Cummings to continue playing Down Under. But when Mohun Bagan SG came calling, the 27-year-old couldn’t resist the opportunity to challenge himself in another league.
“It just seemed exciting to me (the opportunity). I'm the kind of personality that is spontaneous and I do things to challenge myself. Looking at the videos, the heritage that this club has, the history, it's a really good established club with generations of fans. It’s a historical club to play for. When I saw the passion the fans have got, they made it easy because they were messaging me everyday. They were on my Twitter, Instagram, messaging me and I thought, ‘You know what. I want to come here and become a club legend over here.’ This was the reason,” he said during an interview as part of the In The Stands show.
Cummings received a heartwarming reception from MBSG fans upon landing in India from Australia despite reaching the country late in the morning. The 27-year-old revealed he wasn’t expecting too many supporters to turn up at the Kolkata airport upon his arrival, but was surprised with the amount of fans that turned up to greet him.
“I was jet lagged, I remember. I wasn't expecting anything. I heard that the fans over here are crazy back home and Id done my research. I was expecting a couple fans or whatever, but there was a big crowd there. It was like 3-4am in the morning. So that just made me feel welcomed straightaway. It just shows how passionate the fans are here,” he recalled.
“The passion of the fans here is next level. Ive been at a few big clubs in my career and there have been passionate fans, but this is probably the most passionate fan base. They are just relentless. If you just go to the hotel or shopping mall or on the streets..taxi drivers, there’s just fans everywhere..they’re all taking about football,” he further said.
Cummings has already made his mark in India. He opened his account for the club during their AFC Cup preliminary round two clash against Machhindra FC and then scored in their South Asia zone playoff clash against Abahani Dhaka Limited, helping his side register a comeback win and book their place in the AFC Cup group stage.
“It’s a good feeling (to score your first goal). As a striker, I love scoring goals. It’s my job. I’ve done it my whole career and it’s always special when you get your first goal (at a new club). It takes the monkey off your back. Once you get your first goal out of the way, you can kick on and score more and more goals,” Cummings said, when asked about scoring his first goal.
Besides Cummings, Mohun Bagan SG have added two new foreign faces to their squad in the form of defender Hector Yuste and Armando Sadiku. The Mariners have also acquired the best players in India such as Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anwar Ali. The trio have already made a mark for themselves in the Indian Super League (ISL) and are also a part of the Indian football team. Cummings expressed his excitement for the upcoming season and was proud of being part of a team with talented players.
“Mohun Bagan (SG) have got the best Indian players in the league I think. I'm lucky to come into this team and to be playing with the best players in India. That is going to put us in good stead for the season. The recruitment, we’ve brought in obviously myself, but good foreign players with quality. But as I said, we’re blessed with having the best players in India play for us as well.” Cummings stated.
“I’m just excited for the season, it's going to be an amazing season playing with these guys. I think it’s going to be (a) successful (season),” he said.