ISL 2019-20 | Ashique Kuruniyan hopes to play for Kerala Blasters one day
Bengaluru's winger Ashique Kuruniyan hopes that one day he would play for his home state's Kerala Blasters but clarified that his focus is now with Bengaluru FC. The young Indian international also shared about his Pune City experience and praised the passionate Manjappada and West Block Blue fans.
ISL has been resumed after the two weeks of the international break with a thrilling southern derby between Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday. However, Bengaluru FC's Kerala born winger Ashique Kuruniyan is focused on playing for Bengaluru FC. The Indian international player expressed his happiness that a club from Kerala plays in the ISL and hopes to play for them one day.
“For me, Kerala is home. Will there be a time when I play for Kerala Blasters? I don’t know, no one does. I am here (with Bengaluru) for at least the next four years and I am focused on that. This is how football is and no one ever knows how things will turn out and anything can happen. I am very happy that there is a team from Kerala in the Hero ISL because it gives me a chance to play in my home state one day,” Ashique said in an interview with ISL website.
The winger, who plays in multiple positions under Carles Cuadrat, went onto praise the passionate Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC fans and believes their support will grow Indian football.
“It’s important to have a team there (in Kerala) because, with the support they have, football will grow in the country, and the players get more confidence to play. The supporters of Kerala Blasters, Manjappada, and our fans here, West Block Blues, are two sets of very passionate people and their support for the teams really makes a difference during every game,” the 22-year-old said.
Coming from a humble background in Malapuram, Kerala, Kuruniyan joined Pune Academy and then moved to Pune City FC in the 2016-17 season. Moreover, he was loaned to La Liga giants Villareal C team for a season. The youngster shared about his Pune days and thanked everyone in Pune for the support.
“ FC Pune City was an important part of my footballing career. I came to Pune five years back and as a kid. I was in the Pune Academy for two years and then I joined FC Pune City. I played in the Hero ISL and got a chance to play with the national team, so they have been a very important part of my career. I want to say thanks to them, to their fans, management and staff because they gave me a brilliant start to my career.” Ashique Said.
Ashique Kuruniyan moved from defunct Pune City to Bengaluru FC this season. Moreover, he is a regular at the national team and combines well with Bengaluru teammates Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh. Ashique expressed his happiness to join the club.
“My move to Bengaluru FC is a turning point for me, especially because I have signed here for four years. I believe staying at a club for a long spell will be very good for my career. You get to build a bond with the club and players around you. Having an opportunity to play in such a professional club like Bengaluru FC makes me really happy.” the youngster concluded.