Blackburn boss keen on Indian players
Blackburn manager Steve Kean said today he expects to see Indian players join the team's setup now that the club is under the ownership of the Rao family.sports Updated: Jul 29, 2011 20:07 IST
Blackburn manager Steve Kean said on Friday he expects to see Indian players join the team's setup now the club is under the ownership of the Rao family.
"It would be silly because we have got Indian owners not to look at that market," Kean said, adding that he thought it would not "be too long before there's at least some of those lads in the system".
Kean visits India each month for a meeting with the club's new owners, and held a youth football clinic here in June with team captain Ryan Nelsen.
"The first sport is obviously cricket but I have been very, very impressed by the number of people that are participating in football," Kean said. "I'm convinced there is talent out there."
As an assistant coach at Fulham, Kean worked with Zesh Rehman, the first player of South Asian descent to start in the Premier League.
Birmingham-born Rehman, who also represents Pakistan at international level, played 30 times for Fulham from 2004-06, although he now plays in Thailand.
Kean said he would like to replicate that success with recruits from the subcontinent who can go through Blackburn's academy.
"There's 1.2 billion people there and I'm sure there's somebody there's that talented," he said.
Blackburn postponed a pre-season friendly in the Indian city of Pune in the wake of terrorist attacks in Mumbai but the Premier League's security team will travel to the country next week in a bid to clear the match to go ahead.
The Rao family control chicken processor Venky's, which set up a London subsidiary to take over the Lancashire club last December for £23 million.
The chicken brand now adorns the club's shirts and the players have filmed an advertisement for it.