Kochi: "We are looking to pocket all three points in our first match of the season. Our target will be the same in the remaining matches as well," quipped Kwame Peprah when asked about Kerala Blasters's season opener against bitter rivals Bengaluru FC in Kochi on Thursday.
The new weapon in the Yellow Brigade's arsenal for the 10th edition of the Indian Super League (ISL), the Ghanaian striker is known for his offensive capabilities and physical traits, but off the field he comes across as a quiet and reserved individual. The 22-year-old Peprah, who hails from Kumasi in southern Ghana, has experience playing across the first divisions of Ghana, South Africa and Israel.
Excerpts from an interview:
What prompted you to join the ISL?
I had three-four options to choose from. I opted for the ISL because I could sense the winds of change in Indian football. Football here is growing rapidly and the ISL presents a great opportunity to showcase one's talents.
How was the team's pre-season tour to the UAE?
The pre-season camp was rewarding. It was a perfect opportunity for the squad to gel together and bond with each other. I have heard a lot about the club's loyal fans. They are incredible.
African players are usually known for their physical strength and fitness…
I'm more inclined to the physical side of the game. I hope my style and abilities will benefit Blasters. I'm eagerly waiting for the season to start.
How do you find the weather in Kochi?
I have been here for only a week or so. I didn’t find it difficult to cope with the weather in Kochi. It is neither too hot nor too cold. An ideal climate for football, I must say.
How do you compare the football league back home and the ISL?
It is tough to compare two different leagues. It is great to have the opportunity to be a part of both leagues. The ISL is a celebration of fans. The spirit of the Yellow Army will definitely rub off on players.
Who is your intimate friend in the squad?
It is difficult to pick one. I'm getting closer to each member of the squad.
What is your first impression of coach Ivan Vukomanovic?
It is important to have a coach who is friendly and makes earnest efforts to develop confidence in his players. Vukomanovic is one such person who helps you to feel more confident and trust in yourself. The team management is also doing everything to ensure the wellbeing of players. I'm very happy at my new club.