Nishu Kumar: Want to win the Hero ISL trophy with Kerala Blasters

After three years with Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL), defender Nishu Kumar moved to Kerala Blasters FC, signing a four-year deal with the Kochi-based outfit on Wednesday. The Indian international is excited about the prospect of playing for Kerala and is looking forward to the new challenge that awaits him with the Blasters.

"I have to fight for my position in the first team. My personal goal is to be a regular in the team. I want to win the trophy and want to play in the AFC competitions in the future. I wanted to face a new challenge - how I can survive in a new team. And it is Kerala, everyone wants to play for Kerala Blasters," the full-back said while in conversation with Kerala’s assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed on the official Instagram handle of the club.

“Signing for the Blasters is easily one of the best decisions that I have made so far. When the club’s officials approached me for the first time, they spoke to me in great detail about their project and plans for the future. They assured me that they were creating a good team while I was looking for new challenges myself. The prospect of playing for a new team in a new city is definitely a proper test for every footballer – and when it is KBFC, the challenge only becomes bigger,” he added.

The 22-year-old defender then revealed how he always dreamt of playing for Kerala one day. “Everyone wants to play for the Yellow Army. I remember that when I started playing professionally, I had already made up my mind to play for them one day. I also spoke about it to Karolis Skinkys, the new Sporting Director of the club and he was excited as well,” Nishu said.

Nishu also spoke about how Indian legend and former Bengaluru teammate Sunil Chhetri’s professionalism and passion has motivated him to be a better player. “Chhetri is one of my biggest inspirations. He is a great professional and also very passionate about the game. The level of hard work and dedication that he gives to football is easily the main reason why he is one of the top footballers that India has ever produced. He has motivated me a lot,” he said.

When quizzed on a Kerala player that has impressed him, Nishu went on to speak highly of midfielder Jeakson Singh. “At Kerala Blasters, Jeakson Singh is my favourite player. I saw him perform very well last season. He is cool and calm and also quite strong – all the qualities needed for a defensive midfielder. I am also looking forward to teaming up with the likes of Bartholomew Ogbeche, Sahal Abdul Samad, Rahul KP, Jessel (Carneiro) and Seityasen Singh among others,” he said.

Nishu follows the likes of midfielder Ritwik Das and goalkeeper Albino Gomes in joining Kerala. The 22-year-old will strengthen Kerala’s full-back options, which also features Jessel Carneiro, who recently extended his stay with the Blasters.

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