Kerala Blasters FC midfielder Vibin Mohanan feels he has improved as a player after his month-long training stint with Greek first division side OFI Crete. The 20-year-old travelled to Greece in July and trained with the first team of OFI Crete, where he gained valuable experience. The youngster is now back with the Kerala Blasters FC first team, who are preparing for the Durand Cup 2023.

“What I think has improved is my technique. They are very strong physically, and technically too, they are great too. But I felt that my technique has improved because the speed of the game is faster there (in Greece) than here so I feel I have improved my decision making and control,” he said in an interview with Kerala Blasters FC. 

Mohanan made his Indian Super League (ISL) debut during the 2022-23 season, featuring in four games for the Blasters. Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic had earlier described the 20-year-old as a player with a huge potential. But despite his experience in the ISL, Mohanan dealt with major challenges when training in Greece.   

“Intensity, speed, technique.. is more advanced there than here, that is what I felt. During my first week there, I had difficulties adjusting to their methods, but then I adapted to them over time. So even though the first week was tough, over time everything fell into place,” he revealed.

Mohanan made his first appearance for OFC Crete in their pre-season friendly against Dutch First Division side SC Heerenveen. He came on as a substitute in the dying stages of the game in what he says was a memorable day for him.

“It was a great experience because not everyone gets the opportunity to play against such a big club. I'm really happy I got this chance as someone who travelled to Greece from India and got a chance to play against a top team in the Dutch First Division, it was really a memorable day for me. Even though I played for a few minutes, I'm glad I got the opportunity to play. I think I played around 10-12 minutes and I believe that I played well,” he recalled. 

“All in all it was a great experience because it was a great opportunity for me. I could understand the difference between the intensity of the game played in India and Greece. I also understood what we lack and what we need to improve on. I hope I can help and guide other players with the knowledge I have gained,” he added.

Watch the full video: