A Young Turk who made us proud
Reaping benefits of your own seeds is a delightful feeling. On this front, the Mariners had a lot to cheer about this season. Manish Bahrgav, a product of the Mohun Bagan SAIL Academy, stormed into the Indian football circuit and made heads turn with many sublime performances.
A speedy winger who breezes down the flanks, Manish's incredible pace with the ball is quite a watch from the stands. Glimpses of his time on field, flood me with memories of a very similar footballer, former India international and Mohun Bagan player, Renedy Singh. Though Renedy was more of a left-footed player, Manish's gift is his right foot.
The youngster made a dream debut when he scored the second goal to put the Mariners 2-0 up against George Telegraph in a Calcutta Football League match. Manish's first outing went unnoticed as the Mariners were pegged back by two second half goals, and the match ended 2-2.
Little did he know that his share of stardom would come in the grandest match on India's club football calendar. He sizzled, mesmerized and wowed even before scoring against city rivals East Bengal. And when he ruffled the net in the 29th minute, the frenzy at the stadium was unparalleled!! Coach Prasanta Banerjee highlighted the fact that Manish had a great future ahead of him. He said, "His ball control is good, he has good speed and can also make good runs along the flanks."
He soon broke into the I-League squad and finished the season with 10 appearances in India's premier club competition. Though he is yet to score in the I-League, he has made good of every opportunity awarded.
The scouts at Mohun Bagan's academy saw traits of a speedy midfielder in Manish, and the lad lived up to the billing. He will be a key player for the Mariners when the next campaign starts. At McDowell Mohun Bagan, we sincerely hope this star shines bright!!
Arnab Ghosh, a Ph. D. student of the Department of Mathematics, IIT Guwahati, is...