Motherwell: Stephen Pearson returns for third spell at club

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland
Stephen Pearson
Stephen Pearson feels refreshed following his Indian adventure

Motherwell have signed Stephen Pearson until the end of the season - the midfielder's third spell at the club.

The 34-year-old has recently returned from a spell with Atletico Kolkata, where he won the Indian Super League.

"Everyone knows the affiliation I have with the club," said Pearson. "I thoroughly enjoyed my time here.

"It is a good place to come and work so it ticked all the boxes for me and hopefully it suits Motherwell in the short term."

Pearson returns to Scotland with an Indian Super League winner's medal and plenty of fond memories.

"It was very good. I went out and did pre-season in Madrid for a month and then we flew for the season beginning in October and finished the season off just before Christmas," he said.

"We managed to win the league, which was great.

"So it made up for the big decision to go out there in the first place, it kind of justified that by coming back with a winner's medal."

Indian adventure 'superb'

The Indian Super League has only been around for a few years, with the short season and long distance travel notable elements of the experience for Pearson.

"This will only be the fourth year [of the Indian Super League] coming up now, so it is still in the early stages. It is a good competition, only over a short period of time, so the games are thick and fast with lots of travelling - that is one of the things I found quite difficult, the travelling side of it.

"But I could not speak highly enough of the league. Everybody out there is superb. They try to be as professional as possible. They have got a lot of experience and big names out there and they are trying to build up grass-roots level and start from the bottom."

Pearson also believes the lure of lucrative contracts in India will encourage other players to try their luck over in the sub-continent.

He said: "It is certainly a place you will see a lot of players trying to get to. There is a lot of money there, especially for the foreign players who come in. You're allowed 15 foreign players, and 15 local players. But you can only have five foreign players in the starting team at one time - I think they might be reducing that to encourage the progression of the Indian lads."

Atletico de Kolkata players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Indian Super League final match against Kerala Blasters FC
The Indian Super League is in its fourth year

However, Pearson says Indian football still cannot compete with the money being splashed by clubs in China.

"I think the money that is getting thrown around in China is just on another level at the minute," he said.

"In India they do try to pay the foreign players well because it is only a short time that they are out there and they want to get the best players to come and help the Indian players develop.

"They are passionate about it and everything they do, they give it their all."

In terms of his ambitions with Motherwell for the rest of the Premiership season, Pearson added: "I am just looking forward to helping the team out, contribute as much as I can between now and the end of the season and help this club finish as high up the league as possible."

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