I want to be a voice for Indian Football – Dempo’s Rohan Ricketts

Seeing his club's good start to the I-League, Dempo's new signing wants to make his stay a memorable one...

Dempo's high-profile summer signing is taking it one day at a time in India so far, but has big plans to make his stay memorable, on and off the pitch! The former Arsenal and Tottenham midfielder also recollects his first impressions of his teammates and coach Armando Colaco, whom he describes as a ‘gentleman’.

In an exclusive interview published in the October issue of football magazine 90 Minutes, Ricketts spoke highly of Colaco: "I met him; he's a nice gentleman, spoke well, and has a good idea about how he wants us to play. He's done very well here so he's obviously very well-respected."

While Ricketts has gotten along with the rest of his teammates well enough, he raised the point about adapting to the rest of the squad, and is looking to help the Indian guys in the dressing room improve their game.

"The players have been nice, but hopefully we can adapt to each other quickly, because they're all used to a certain type of way. Over here, it's all about running and running and running! Hopefully we can play some intelligent football as well. Anyone can just run around, but sometimes you need to have good positional sense and have the same outcome. I hope I can bring a bit of that to the side."

Dempo got off to a decent start in the league, winning 2-1 against Churchill Brothers, with Ricketts starting the game. The Goans have been crowned champions of India four times in the last six seasons, and the Englishman's aim is to make it five out of seven. However, he immediately makes the point that he wants his stay in India to be more than just about that.

"I want to be champions next season, and want to be part of an evolution in Indian football, and get more corporate brands involved in Indian football. I want to be a voice that gets people to listen and invest their money into the sport, in terms of facilities, training grounds, stadiums, pitches etc. So when I’m 35-36, I can look back and say that I was part of the growth of the I-League, because it really is a sleeping giant", he remarked.

Perhaps the most interesting of Ricketts’ aspirations in India is his desire to star in a Bollywood movie! He promises to make it happen: "While I’m here I want to be part of a Bollywood movie. Remember I told you first! I love the singing and dancing. I’m an entertainer myself, so I really need to be in a Bollywood movie. We’re going to work that out over the next year for sure."

With such ambitions, one would ask the question whether Ricketts is looking to see out his career in India, but the 29-year-old has no such plans at the moment, and maintains that he's simply taking life as it comes.

"I really don’t know about that. I never knew I would even be here in the first place, so it’s tough to say. I’m living one day at a time, literally. But yes, everything’s been really good so far", he signed off.

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