I-League debutants JSW Sports Tuesday signed defenders John Johnson and Curtis Osano, both with experience in English football, for their forthcoming season.
While Englishman Johnson has turned out for Middlesbrough in the EPL for a season, Kenyan Osano is a product of the Reading academy and has last played for League Two side AFC Wimbledon.
“It’s surely a big change but once the manager told me about the club, the vision and projects they have lined up, it wasn’t hard to say yes. I’ve been doing my homework on the I-League and am looking forward to get there,” said 24-year-old Johnson, who spent his last three seasons at Northampton Town.
Johnson and Osano have played in the central defence and right back positions but are equally comfortable in the midfield.
“I have played with and against John and Curtis and the two will bring a lot of experience to the team. The both have played over a 100 games and that says a lot. John is flexible with positions, is a great athlete and is really strong in the air. As for Curtis, he’s quick and dynamic and very comfortable with the ball. He has a nice mix of strength and discipline. The club has done well in signing the duo considering there were clubs in England interested in them,” said coach Ashley Westwood on the club’s latest acquisitions.
Osano came through the ranks at Reading under the guidance of current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
“I love challenges and the idea of getting into a league with a completely different style of football intrigued me. The manager is trying to bring a different brand of football and I consider it as a once in a lifetime chance, a blessing that’s fallen in my lap,” said 26-year-old Osano.
On whether the duo would struggle to adjust to the weather in India, Westwood had little doubt about John and Curtis adapting.
“Both the players have been in the English system for eight years and have coped well while travelling and playing in hot countries. That apart, they are really fit and won’t have any trouble adjusting to the climate,” added Westwood.