We had a talk with U-19 player from Mohun Bagan Sail Football Academy, Souvik Chakraborty, who has performed very well in Kolkata Premier League and got Man of the Match award in one match.
Congratulations on being part of the Federation Cup team.
Souvik: Thanks a lot.
Did it come as a surprise to you?
Souvik: Yes, it really came as a pleasant surprise. Thanks to coach for keeping me as a part of the team. I will give my best for the team, if I get a chance. But more than me getting chance in the team, I would want Mohun Bagan to win the Fed Cup, so that I can be part of the winning team.
When did you start playing football?
Souvik: I started playing football when I was 8 years old at the Yubajagaran football coaching centre.
Tell us something about your family.
Souvik: I live with my parents. I have one elder sister and one elder brother. My father is a doctor and mother is a housewife.
When did you join Mohun Bagan academy? Tell us something about the academy days. Who was your coach at the MB academy?
Souvik: I joined Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy when I was 15 years old. The academy days were very nice. Not only has it helped me in terms of football skills, but also I made many friends and I really miss academy days very much now. In last four years, I practiced under many coaches like Jahar Das, Luis Greco, Shyam Thapa, Dipak Bera, Roy Bareto, Tushar Kanti Majumdar etc.
Did you have any memorable match for the MB academy? Did you make any overseas tours?
Souvik: My most memorable match was during the qualifying rounds for Manchester United Premier Cup World Finals. We beat Singaporeâ€™s champion team and got a chance to go to Manchester. I made three overseas tours for Mohun Bagan academy. We did go to Singapore, Thailand and England for the Manchester United Premier Cup.
How did you get the offer to play for Mohun Bagan?
Souvik: In Kolkata league, there is a rule that every team must have one Under-19 player in the team, so club officials contacted Academy to select 2 players for the senior team. I am very fortunate that I got selected along with Parminder to represent the senior team. This was one of the memorable days of my life.
How do you feel playing for Mohun Bagan? Do you feel any difference in the atmosphere as compared with the MB academy?
Souvik: I am very glad to be part of the team Mohun Bagan. Here in Mohun Bagan club, I find many fans, professional players and media and it is totally different from the Academy. Academy is the place where we learn the game and develop our skills, but here while playing for the Mohun Bagan team, we need to deliver a good performance whenever we get chance, because the fans always have a lot of expectation from the players.
You played your first match for Mohun Bagan in Kolkata league as substitute in 2nd half, in 2nd match you became Man of the Match, how do you feel?
Souvik: I feel very happy and I am really thankful to Karim Sir who gave me a chance to play. Yes, it did give me lot of satisfaction when I was adjudged the Man of the Match. I have to keep on performing like this. One to two good matches will not help, I will have to perform consistently.
For the last few matches, we are seeing that from the short corner, you are crossing the ball in box, which is creating a lot of chances and you almost scored once or twice. We know this came after lot of practice under the coach Karim who must have lot of faith in you. How do you feel about this?
Souvik: Yes, we did spend a lot of time practicing those set piece movements and I feel very good that Karim Sir have full faith in me and that he has asked me to play a vital role during the set piece movements.
How do you find Karim? Do you feel any difference in coaching from MB academy coach?
Souvik: Karim Sir is a very good coach. I donâ€™t like to compare, but I can say that he is the best coach I have ever seen till now in my short football career.
In Kolkata football, the players are always under big pressure from the supporters and media. Do you feel it is good or bad for a player?
Souvik: Of course, this is good. Every player wants to play in front of stands full of supporters. It gives me extra motivation to play good football. If I can deliver good performance, I know that media will write good things about me which certainly will help me.
How do you find the current Mohun Bagan team? Do you think, Mohun Bagan can win Fed cup and I league this year?
Souvik: I feel our team is one of the best team in the country and so we definitely are favorites to win both the tournaments.
Do you get help from seniors in the Mohun Bagan team? Do you want to mention anybody's name?
Souvik: Yes, the senior players and coach are very helpful. They guide me a lot and point out my mistakes. Since all of them are very helpful to me, I will not be able to mention anybody's name.
You played the first match as a right half but after that you have played really well in the central midfield. Which position you like to play more? What was your position at the MB Academy? Have you scored any goals in your career so far?
Souvik: Although at the MB academy I used to play more in the central midfield, personally I like to play in the central midfield as well as right half, and yes, for Mohun Bagan academy, I have scored few goals. Actually, whichever position coach asks me to play, I will be more than happy. First and foremost, it gives me immense pleasure to be part of the Mohun Bagan team, so position is the secondary factor here.
Since you play in midfield, which midfielder in India you want to play with and which midfielder in the opponent team you think will create most problems for you?
Souvik: I really enjoy playing with all the midfielders in the current squad of Mohun Bagan, but in future I would really love to play with Climax Lawrence. Till now, I have not played with Marcos, I really admire him a lot. In fact, in future, I think if I play opposite Marcos, he will create most problem for me (laughing).
Do you want to play for India?
Souvik: Definitely, I would like to don the Indian jersey in future. I think that is every footballer's dream to wear National team jersey. But for that I will have to perform consistently.
What are your plans for future?
Souvik: My plan is to be a successful player for Mohun Bagan and India also.
Which is your favorite club in World football?
Who is your favorite player in World football?
Who is your favorite Indian player?
Souvik: Basudeb Mandal.
Who is your favorite overseas player playing in india?
Souvik: (Smiling) Of course, it is no other than Jose Ramirez Barreto.
Who is your ideal player from childhood?
Souvik: Basudeb Mandal. I have been his fan from my childhood and I would like to be a good playmaker like him.
Do you have any message for fans of Mohun Bagan?
Souvik: Thanks to all the supporters for supporting us and keep supporting us the way you have been doing so far.
Thanks a lot and best of luck for Federation Cup.
INTERVIEW AND REPORT: Anjan Roy and Shiladitya Mitra
Being part of the fed cup team is a pleasant surprise for me: Souvik Chakraborty
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