Former Indian football team captain and Arjuna awardee, IM Vijayan said that Kerala Blasters FC’s new signings have provided more confidence to the team in the ongoing Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season. Ivan Kaliuzhnyi, Dimitrios Diamantakos, Apostolos Giannou and Victor Mongil are among the notable signings KBFC have made ahead of the Hero ISL 2022-23 season besides the likes of Saurav Mandal and Bryce Miranda, to name a few. 

Attacking midfielder Kaliuzhnyi has already hit the ground running with three goals in five games, becoming the joint-leading goalscorer in the ongoing Hero ISL season so far. Diamantakos, who has been a regular feature in all of KBFC’s matches so far, has also opened his account, finding the net in Kerala Blasters’ recent away win against NorthEast United FC.

Kerala Blasters started the season with a mixed bag of results. They have won two matches but have ended up on the losing side on three occasions. However, Vijayan believes that KBFC can be optimistic about the results in the upcoming games given their new signings.

"Kerala Blasters have signed players who give a lot of confidence to the team. It's only the beginning of the season,” Vijayan said in an exclusive interview with the Hero ISL. “There are more games. Let's pray for a good result."

Vijayan also said that KBFC have improved drastically under head coach Ivan Vukomanovic. The Serbian guided the Blasters to the Hero ISL 2021-22 final in his first season itself. Vukomanovic was rewarded for his efforts with a three-year contract extension, putting pen to paper with the club till 2025.

"Indisputably, the team possesses one of the top coaches in the league. The game has shifted to another level under Ivan," Vijayan said.

With fans returning back to the stadiums after two seasons in the Covid bio-bubble, supporters have turned up in large numbers for the Hero ISL matches this season. Kerala Blasters fans have left no stone unturned in supporting their club with Kochi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium witnessing a massive fan turnout so far. Vijayan asserted that the supporters have been the pillar of KBFC.

"Not much to say to Kerala Blasters fans. They support the team a lot. They are the strength of the team. It's an honour to have number one supporters,” Vijayan said.

The legendary Indian forward also stated the Hero ISL has gained a massive fan-following since its inception and believes the league has grown leaps and bounds. He said: “The number of Hero ISL viewers has significantly increased during the last two years. The majority of it was selected in Kerala, as evidenced by the astonishing increase in spectators among Kerala Blasters fans."