Interview: Arjun Chatterjee19-Jul, 2012
Arjun Chatterjee, born on October 14, 1993, is a very talented wing half who has joined McDowell Mohun Bagan this season from Prayag United. He played reasonably well last year and can play both as a right half as well as left half. The first goal scored in this year's practice came off a brilliant cross from Arjun which was headed in by Dipendu Biswas. Arjun will be wearing Jersey No. 18 this year.
We had a chat with him in Durgapur.
MMB: When did you get the offer to play for Mohun Bagan?
Arjun: After the Mohun Bagan vs Prayag United match held in Siliguri.
MMB: What was your first reaction?
Arjun: I was extremely happy. At first I could not believe that I have got an offer to play for a team whose matches I used to watch in Salt Lake Stadium from the gallery.
MMB: How is the preseason training going on?
Arjun: This is the first preseason residential camp of my career. In Prayag United, we had preseason training but it was not a residential one.
I am really enjoying the training of Coach Santosh Kashyap. There is a lot of variation in the practice session and so it is very interesting.
I am practicing hard and will have to prove myself in the training session and if and when I get chance to play, will give my best for McDowell Mohun Bagan.
MMB: Are you getting any guidance from the seniors of the team?
Arjun: All the players are very helpful though I would like to take the name of Rahim Nabi who gives me a lot of tips and provides good guidance.
MMB: When did you start playing football?
Arjun: I have been playing football since I was 13. My father was a goalkeeper though he did not play professional football.
I started my career in a 5th Division Club where I played for 1 season. After that, I played 4 years in 1st Division, 2 years each for Milan Samity and Janbazar. While playing for Janbazar, I got chance to play in the U-19 Bengal team where we finished runners up, as we lost to Punjab in the final match. Milton Bhowmick was also there in the Bengal team.
Then I joined Prayag United last year.
MMB: Have you always played in side half position?
Arjun: Initially, I used to play in central midfield as attacking midfielder. I played in that position till I was in Janbazar. In Prayag United, there was a lot of competition and Coach Sanjoy Sen changed my position to side half and I adjusted myself nicely to wing half. Last year, I played both on right and left wing.
Actually, you see, there is no fixed position for a footballer. He should be ready to play in any position depending on the team formation as decided by the Coach of the team.
MMB: Which has been the best match of your career so far?
Arjun: The match against Mohun Bagan in Siliguri. I played in right half position. I played quite well in that match. In that match, Mohun Bagan had players like Hudson Lima and Rahim Nabi who were operating down the left side, so my job was even more challenging.
Right after this match, I got the offer to play for Mohun Bagan.
MMB: Who has been your idol?
Arjun: Deepak Mandol. He is a brilliant player and also very helpful. I was fortunate enough to have him as my teammate last year. I learnt a lot from him. Though he plays in a different position, I will never forget the guidance that I got from him.
MMB: Will you feel pressure playing in front of a lot of supporters?
Arjun: Not at all. Though Prayag United did not have many supporters, but still we played against Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting. All these matches had reasonably good turnout.
MMB: Have you scored any goals last year?
Arjun: Yes, I scored a couple of goals last season, against Aryan and Southern Samity.
We defeated Aryan 1-0. I scored the goal from Yakubu's pass. Prayag United defeated Southern Samity 3-0. I scored the 2nd goal of the match.
MMB: Which was your best assist last year?
Arjun: It was the match against Mohammedan Sporting. Though we lost the match 4-3, Joshimar scored one goal from my right footed cross.
MMB: Who was your favourite coach until last season?
Arjun: Goutam Ghosh and Sanjoy Sen.
MMB: Who is your favourite Indian wing half?
Arjun: James Singh.
MMB: Who is your favourite international wing half?
Arjun: Cristiano Ronaldo.
MMB: Which is your favourite club and country in International Football?
Arjun: Barcelona and Spain.
MMB: Best of luck for the season Arjun.
Arjun: Thank you.
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