“It feels ‘at home’ in NorthEast United FC colours”, says Nicolas Velez
NE United FC re-signed Nicolas Velez for the 3rd edition of Hero ISL.
NE United re-signed last season’s top scorer for the team, Nicolas Velez. The heartthrob of the fans says that he feels like home in NEUFC colours. The Argentinian forward, who scored 5 goals and provided one assist last season for the club, also said that he loves the club’s fans and the way they supported the team at home and away. The 26 years old says that the fans are one of the big reasons why he is here with the club again.
Here’s what he said in an interview with indiansuperleague.com:
“It was a great experience to play in the ISL last season. Sad not to get to the semis, but it was a great experience to play with big players like Simao and against players like Elano and Adrian Mutu. I hope we can do better this season,” Nicolas Velez said.
“Yes, I scored five goals last season but I think I can score more this season. I will work very hard for it. So my expectation is to basically score more goals and try to help the team this season. Hopefully, we will perform better for everyone.
“For me, I would like to concentrate more on my finishing. Last season, I got many chances to score, including two or three chances which were declared off-side. But, this is part and parcel of the game. For the team, I just think we need to start winning games. Last season, we couldn’t get a point in the first three games. After the third game, we beat the best team in the Hero ISL. All in all, we got 20 points from 11 games. So I think this year it would be very important to start the Hero ISL with a winning mentality,” he added.
Nicolas Velez also shared his favourite moment from the the Hero ISL 2015. “I liked the moment when I scored my first goal against Chennaiyin FC in Guwahati last season. We were 0-0 till the time Simao scored a penalty and I followed it up late on with a goal. It was my first goal, our first victory at home and in the league. Therefore, this was my best moment last season,” he said.
Talking about their marquee player from last season, Simao Sabrosa, Velez said “For us, he was one of the most important players in the squad, both on the pitch and off it. He gave his experience to the team. Everyone knows him just as a player but outside the pitch his contribution was very important,” he said.
When asked to comment on the unique format of the Hero ISL, Velez didn’t try to play down the challenges it poses. “We play every four days. It’s very hard. As we are in the north-east, we travel a lot. Therefore, it is very important to use the rest day for full recovery.”
Regarding the pre-season preparation in South Africa, he said “It will be very important. It will be a good time to be here together, to meet each other and to know what’s best for everyone. It’s important for us to have a great time in South Africa, to play some friendly games and when we come back to India, we just have 10 days to play our first game.”
At last, addressing the Highlanders and the fans he claimed that he feels at ‘home’ in NorthEast United FC colours. “I can’t thank the fans enough. They have always supported us. I can feel it. It’s very important for me and one of the big reasons why I’m here with this club again. When I was talking to the staff, I told them that I feel like I am at home.
“I am very happy here and I hope I can share the same happiness with our fans this season because they support us everywhere and they deserve it. I think everyone is motivated. When you see all your fans before the game, you just need to go out and fight for them, the club and for the people who have helped us in everything. I think everyone knows where we are and we know we need to work very hard this year to make it to the semis,” he concluded.