Never played football in so much noise for so long: David James on atmosphere at Kerala Blasters FC's JLN stadium
Former Kerala Blasters FC player and head coach David James called the atmosphere he experienced at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi during the inaugural season of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) as the best he has ever experienced in his career.
In an official episode of “Simply the Best” by Goal.com, the former England international talked about the passionate support shown by the fans of Kerala Blasters FC during his two stints in India.
"The Kerala Blasters in the inaugral season of the [Hero] Indian Super League (ISL)," said James on being asked what is the best atmosphere he has experienced on a football field.
“We had more than 60,000 people at a game of football, and for an hour before kick-off, it was just a wall of noise, during the game it was a wall of noise, and after the game it was a wall of noise. I’ve never played football in so much noise for so long,” he spoke of the incredible atmosphere at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
James, who played for numerous elite clubs in England’s top-flight league including Liverpool, had a sparkling debut season with the Tuskers as player-manager. The shotstopper played 12 matches and kept four clean sheets, with a save rate of 76%, helping his side reach the final in the first-ever season of the Hero ISL.
“Speaking of atmosphere, everywhere I’ve been, every club has been fantastic at times but that one moment was the time I realised that football in India was as passionate as football anywhere else in the world,” he stated.
While he featured only for one season in the Hero ISL as a player-manager, the former Liverpool goalkeepr returned as the head coach of the Blasters in 2018 season and managed the club for over 20 matches across two seasons making him a loved figure among the Kerala Blasters FC faithful.