Kerala Blasters FC’s new signing Jaushua Sotirio aims to contribute to the team’s success in whatever way possible and guide the club to a silverware in the upcoming Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season.

Earlier in May, Kerala Blasters FC announced Sotirio as their first summer signing, with the Australian forward signing a two-year contract with the club till 2025. Having spent his entire professional career in Australia, Sotirio is determined to make a mark with KBFC as he embarks on a new challenge outside his home country for the first time.

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“Without hard work there is no success, right? So hard work first and hopefully with that, we can win the League (Shield) and the (Hero ISL title) Cup. The first mentality is to be like that and personally score as many goals as I can and assist to contribute to the team’s success,” he said in an interview with Kerala Blasters FC.

Sotirio comes to India with a rich experience, having made 166 appearances in the A-League besides contributing 27 goals and 10 assists. The Australian was also a part of Western Sydney Wanderers’ AFC Champions League-winning squad in 2014 and has also played in the FIFA Club World Cup. Besides that, he has also represented Australia at the youth level, with caps at the U20 and U23 level. Sotirio revealed that adapting to the Hero ISL is going to be a challenge, but one that he is looking forward to.

“I’ve seen the Hero ISL and it has an attacking mentality and a lot of high intensity so that's something that I'm looking forward to coming from the A-League. It will be very challenging but something that I’ve adapted to before. I’ve had some U20 and U23 national team games and AFC Champions League campaigns in Asia. I feel like Asia brings the best out of me and I am hoping that I can do well with Kerala Blasters FC,” he explained.

The three-time Hero ISL finalists qualified for the playoffs during the Hero ISL 2022-23 season, but couldn’t reach the semi-finals. However, the return of fans after two seasons in the Covid bubble came as a huge boost to the Blasters, who registered seven wins from 10 games at their home ground, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, which played a major part in their playoff qualification. Sotirio is looking forward to playing in Kochi and has already imagined scoring for the club in front of their passionate supporters.

“I miss playing in front of a packed stadium, (and a) full crowd of 40,000 to 50,000 people. That’s something that I am looking forward to and can’t wait to be a part of. I’ve already imagined scoring my first goal at home, celebrating with the boys and celebrating with the fans and just hearing my name, that will be amazing and I'll embrace it for sure. And at the end of the season, I'll seek getting some silverware so whether that’s winning the League (Shield) or the (Hero ISL title) Cup, one or both. That’s what I'm looking forward to,” he mentioned.

When asked about his message for the club’s supporters, the Australian said: “KBFC fans, I want to thank you already for your love and support. Thanks for all the nice messages. I just want to let you know that everytime I am going to step out on the pitch, I am going to give you my 100%. I am always going to fight, work hard and with that, we’ll do something special this season.”

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