Last season’s Indian Super League runners up ATK Mohun Bagan have started preparing for the AFC Cup. They are clubbed with Maziya Sports and Recreation, Bashundhara Kings in Group D and the winner of the AFC Playoffs where Bengaluru FC will face Club Eagles will fill in the last slot.
The Mariners have already welcomed some of their foreigners as the likes of Roy Krishna, Hugo Boumous and Joni Kauko have been training with the Indian players.
Prior to the tournament, the Finland international spoke to the media and answered their questions. Kauko revealed how he decided to join ISL outfit ATK Mohun Bagan, he said, “I had many options but I wanted something different at this moment in my career. In the end, joining ATK Mohun Bagan was an easy decision and also a road that I wanted to try.”
The combative midfielder who represented Finland at the Euros 2020 was quizzed how he will adapt to the hot and humid conditions and the different gameplay in India. Kauko confidently replied,” “I think I am able to adapt very well to different styles and leagues. Hence, I hope it won’t take that long.”
He revealed how he had a lot of trouble adjusting to hot conditions in the first week but now things have taken an easier turn for him in the second week. “After the first training I was very much worried because it was too much for a northern guy who is used to snow and cold,” the Finnish international admitted. “But now, in the second week, I feel much better. It will take some time to adapt but day by day it’s getting better.”
The 31-year-old midfielder has plied his trade in different leagues in Finland, Germany and Denmark. Therefore when asked about Indian football he said, “I have never been to India before, and that’s one reason why I’m here now. I had no idea where I’m going but I’m really happy to see that everyone is taking me well here.”
Kauko has featured in several positions in midfield therefore he was asked about his favourable role in the middle of the park. The Finnish midfielder however said that he will be a very potent threat in attack and will be looking to score goals from midfield.
“Depends which system we are playing but I hope I will have a big impact on attacking wise as a box-to-box midfielder. It’s pretty rare to have a midfielder who can score a lot of goals and I hope I will be able to do that here also like I have done the past three years in Denmark,” he concluded.