Mumbai FC unveil Ghanaian Abel Hammond as new foreign signing
Mumbai | Kamis, Sep 11 2008 IST
Ghanaian forward Abel Hammond has been finally unveiled as Mumbai FC's new foreign signing for their debut in the I League this year. The 23-year-old striker, who spoke to reporters here today, said he was excited about the metropolis. ''I went to south Mumbai and many sights reminded me of Italy,'' he said. Incidentally, the striker was snapped up by Club Brescia of Italy, when he was 17 and spent two years there, playing his trade in the junior Serie A. That resulted in Hammond's big move on loan to Citadella, but it eventually was cut short as he had to return home for personal reasons.
''I honed my skills as a winger initially but graduated to the forward position after I proved myself by scoring goals,'' Hammond said about his time in Italy. His choice to go to Italy was a hard one as he was selected for the U-17 squad of Ghana for the World Cup qualifiers. ''It was an opportunity to make a better life for my family so I had to give up on one dream,'' recollected Hammond on his eventual decision.
His family has been his biggest strength from an early age and his parents encouraged him to play football when they saw his potential and passion for the game. Asked when he started playing football and the Ghanaian laughed, ''Honestly, I've been playing for as long as I can remember.'' When asked what made him sign for the city-based club, he said, ''My season with Liberty Professionals in the Ghanaian premier league had just ended when my agent told me of Mumbai FC's interest.
I know Felix Aboagye was playing there and he's a well known figure in Ghanaian football. I asked him about life here because Indian football is not well known, although I had a little insight as my friend Yakubu also plays in India. Felix spoke very highly of Mumbai FC and football in general in India. Understanding the clubs future plans, David Booth being the coach and also my wife's encouragement made me make up my mind.'' Head coach David Booth is pleased with what his new signing brings to the team. ''He's a quick lad and plays a more central role, so he compliments Abhishek Yadav and Felix very well. Hammond can hold the ball very well and is equally good in the air. He's an asset really,'' the Englishman said.
Hammond seems to have adapted to the style of football and his teammates well in the club. ''I was a bit surprised with the style of play here. I had this impression of slow paced football from the very little I had seen. But it's not slow at all, well at least not in this club,'' the Ghanaian said. Hammond has set his sights on making a mark for himself here. ''I want to score and create lots of goals,'' Hammond signed off.
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