CARL MCHUGH has settled well into life in Kolkata, the Indian city he now calls home.
Kolkata has a population of 4.5 million – a far cry from his home village of Lettermacaward, which has an estimated 650 residents.
Picture: Carl McHugh in action for ATK. Picture via Indian Super League
After three seasons at Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League, McHugh signed with ATK FC, a former club of Republic of Ireland legend Robbie Keane.
“It’s been brilliant,” McHugh says.
“I’ve enjoyed the atmosphere in the games and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.
“It was an opportunity I wanted to take and I grasped it with both hands.”
McHugh announced his arrival to ATK in style, scoring a memorable opening goal in their first Indian Super League game of the season.
That ended in a 3-2 loss to Kerela Blasters, but ATK bouncead back with a 5-0 win over Hyderabad.
McHugh has been getting to know his surroundings and at the weekend went to the Kali Puja festival.
This afternoon, McHugh and ATK are away to Chennaiyin FC.
The 26-year-old said: “It’s early days but you can see a lot of positives in our play.
“We’re building every day. We have to come a long way to get to our potential. We’re working very hard to be successful and get to where we all want to be.”
McHugh had spells at Bradford City and Plymouth Argyle, while he captained Motherwell during one of his seasons at Fir Park.
His move to Indian came like a jolt. McHugh considered his options and spoke with his former Motherwell team-mate Stephen Pearson, who played for a season with Kerela Blasters and also made ten appearances with ATK.
McHugh said: “I was at an age where I wanted a new experience.
“I felt I had achieved a lot and I wanted to experience something different. I heard a lot about this League and it has lived up to my expectations.”
McHugh has represented Ireland up to under-21 level, but isn’t too perturbed by a lack of senior appearances in the green.
Speaking at ATK’s pre-match press conference, he said: “I’m just focusing on what I can affect. Of course every player wants to play for their country and I’m no different. All I can do is my best for ATK and see where that takes me.”Tags: