Mumbai City FC’s newly recruited midfielder, Yoëll van Nieff is confident about playing a major role for the Islanders in the upcoming season. The Dutchman signed a two-year contract with the club that will run until the end of the 2024-25 season.

Van Nieff, a youth product of FC Groningen, has spent most of his career in the Netherlands, plying his trade for different clubs until 2019. The midfielder, who has also represented the Netherlands at the youth levels, embarked on a new phase of his career in the summer of 2019 when he moved from his homeland and signed for the Hungarian top-flight club Puskás Akadémia.

A regular at Puskás Akadémia, van Nieff featured in 126 games for the Hungarian club, netting six goals and providing 12 assists. He will now bring a lot of experience with him to Mumbai City FC. The 30-year-old mentioned how his vision matched the club's vision, which helped him a lot in moving to the new club.

“I remember that my agent told me about India so yeah, of course, I was talking with my wife about it and yeah we were thinking about and even speaking with my agent about it like how will it be to be in India and especially in Mumbai then we were looking a bit for Mumbai City FC and also like for the last season and we saw that Mumbai City FC was really successful last season,” van Neiff stated in an interaction with Mumbai City FC.

“At the end, I had some conversations with the coach and also with the director and the plan of how they saw me and even my role in the team was really clear and even was part of how I see football so at the end it made it like easy to yeah to choose for this club,” he added.

Having won the League Winners' Shield for the second time last season, Mumbai City FC have retained their core group of players, including their foreign contingent. Among the foreigners, former captain Mourtada Fall and Ahmed Jahouh have moved out of the club to reunite with their former head coach, Sergio Lobera, at Odisha FC.

The Islanders have roped in another seasoned defender, Tiri, to replace Fall in defence, and now the Dutchman will directly fit into the side to replace Jahouh, who immensely contributed to the club during his three-year stint.

Van Nieff understands that he will be tasked with filling the substantial void left by the Moroccan player, and he is confident in succeeding in his job.

“I'm a player who always wants to give everything (on the pitch). So I will always give my 100% and even I will try to help others as well,” stated the Dutchman.

He added: “I can even try to help others like how we want to play. I can be a leader in the team, not only inside the pitch but also outside the pitch. I think with my overall experience I can help the team a lot and how I see football fits in the vision of the club so yeah I think I can help with this as well.”

Van Nieff, who has primarily played as a defensive midfielder throughout his career, explains how he maintains his fitness level and how he can contribute to the team's growth as an important squad member.

“First of all, health is the most important thing for me, so that's number one. But the other thing of course is to be involved with the team, try to help the team as best as I can like and to be an important (member) of the team like in attacking but also in defence and outside the pitch. Even the aim that the club has is important and I think it's a good goal for us to stay focused on,” he commented.

Van Nieff hasn't had the opportunity to spend much time in the city of Mumbai so far, as the team flew to Thailand after their new logo unveiling event.

The Dutchman has expressed how his teammates have been supportive and helpful during this short period. He also has a strong desire to explore the new country and its culture during his off time.

“I'm really looking forward to it (playing in front of the MCFC fans) and even to exploring the city (with my family) that will be really great and get the best time of it and I'm almost sure that we're gonna love it,” he said.

“I haven't seen much yet of India or its culture, but from what I have seen already, everyone is really helpful and peaceful. Everybody is prepared to help me make the most of my time here. I'm really thankful and I appreciate it very much,” van Nieff signed off.

Watch the full interview here: