On Wednesday evening, it brought a true surprise for the footballers of Kerala Blasters after the end of their ongoing training at Kochi Nehru Stadium. They knew that their jersey unveiling function would take place on the day. But Mehtab Hossain, Shilton Paul and even the assistant coach of Kerala Blasters, Trevor Morgan did not know that the icon in Indian sport, one of the team’s owners, Sachin Tendulkar would give a sudden visit to his team hotel before the jersey unveiling function gets started. The players were not only surprised but also overwhelmed with the presence of Sachin who called on all the players and inspired them saying that this time, in the forthcoming ISL they must set their goal to become the champions which they failed last year.
Shilton Paul, speaking on the occasion over the phone said, “We had been charged up with his presence already. Then he spent with us for around half-an-hour and gave us tips on how we should set our goal to become champions this time. It was an amazing experience for all of us.” Mehtab Hussain looked more enthused when he said, “In the last season, I did not have the opportunity to meet Sachin as I was with the Indian squad at the time of the beginning of the ISL when Sachin, in a similar way, came to boost the players. So, it has been more appealing experience for me as this time I got the scope of talking to the Master Blaster and also I had taken a photograph, standing with him.”
Sachin had also reportedly inspired his team’s footballers saying that they should not weaken their training till the tournament starts. He had stressed on working hard to achieve the coveted trophy. Morgan said on the occasion that this time, a lot of local football fans are coming to see their training, cheering the boys, especially the Indian footballers. But there is no doubt that Sachin’s presence has been the most encouraging for the players.