ISL Season 8: Greg Stewart has been the signing of the new Indian Super League season without any doubt. The Scottish forward who joined Jamshedpur right after a two year stint with Scottish champions, Rangers FC has proved his mettle on Indian shores. Follow all the ISL 2021-22 LIVE Updates only on InsideSport.IN
The 31-year-old has already scored five goals for the Men of Steel but it was his sensational freekick against Kerala Blasters that caught everyone’s eye all over the world. It was a fantastic freekick that left everyone awestruck by his precision and technique on the dead ball. He lined himself up from 30 yards as he would drill it in the penalty area looking for a teammate. However just when he notices Prabhsukhan Gill drifted a step too much. he wrapped his left foot around the ball as it curled it to kiss the post before going in.
If we see a better goal than this strike by Greg Stewart this season ISL, we will be blessed.
What. A. Strike. 🔥
🎥 Indian Super League pic.twitter.com/xYKmKnXB83
— The Field (@thefield_in) December 26, 2021
Thoughts on his wonder goal
Recently the former Rangers star shared his experiences with BBC Scotland about the ISL, the wonder goal, time away from family and much more. “A goal’s a goal,” Stewart tells BBC Scotland. “If it’s a one-yarder or a 50-yarder, it doesn’t matter to me, but that was special – it’s right up there with my best. I would be lying if I said I’ve not watched it quite a few times.”
Attention to detail from Stewart
The Scotsman highlighted how they always do video analysis sessions before matches and there he saw the goalkeeper stand off his line and leave a lot of space on the near post. So he was always mentally prepared to take the opportunity if the moment arises.
“We always do a video analysis on the opposing team the day before. I noticed the keeper would stand off his line and leave his near post quite a bit. I thought if he does that in the game, I might have a go.
“Sometimes you just hit a shot and you know it feels right. It connected so well. I’ve managed to get it outside the post and come in just in time. One out of 100 go in the way that did,” the Jamshedpur FC talisman revealed.
Jamshedpur FC have never made it to the ISL playoffs but this season things look a lot different for Owen Coyle’s men. Especially the signing of Greg Stewart has changed the dynamics for the Men of Steel. They are now a point below the league leaders Kerala Blasters and are well within the mix to finish in the top two spots in the points table. While Owen Coyle deserves a lot of credit for the turn around this season, Stewart equally deserves a mention for helping Jamshedpur FC get right back among the best in the league.
Owen Coyle and Sandy Stewart’s influence
Stewart came to India only after he was convinced by head coach Owen Coyle and assistant coach Sandy Stewart. The former Rangers man was sceptical at first but after speaking with the two Scotsman he decided to join Jamshedpur FC. Since then he has simply taken the ISL by storm with class and quality.
“It was basically my conversations with Gaffer (Owen Coyle) and Sandy (Stewart) that made me keen to come here and my eagerness to learn from them. They explained how it is out here and convinced me to join. I still feel that I am young and can keep learning, so it is a new adventure for me, and I am ecstatic to go into the new season with my new teammates,” said Stewart to ISL in an interview before the start of the season.
Life in a bio bubble
Before coming to India, the 31-year-old had some experience of playing in empty stadiums. But the logistics are very different compared to the ISL currently. He highlights how it is difficult to remain indoors for most of the day and only go out during training. he shares the hardships of a bio bubble. “You’re based in your hotel and the surrounding area,” Stewart explains. “You can’t go out of the hotel into the city. You just go out to train then back to the hotel. There’s hardly any travelling. A couple of the stadiums are 45 minutes away, but you’re happy to drive that just to get out of the hotel.”
However, the ever-smiling Scotsman is looking at the brighter side of the story and is looking to focus on his football. “But I had it in my head I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone. Luckily enough, it’s a nice hotel and a nice area. There are perks of it as well. I’ve managed to play a run of games, that’s what you want to do. Football is always good when you have a smile on your face,” added the forward.
Christmas away from family
Lastly he shares how he missed his family and missed them the most on Christmas day where modern-day technology made things a little easier for him. If it wasn’t for FaceTime, Christmas Day would’ve been a lot tougher,” Stewart adds. “I could still see the kids in the morning opening their presents, but I made that choice before I came here. I know it is only a couple of months before I will see them again.”