Interview of McDowell Mohun Bagan defender Lalrozama Fanai3-Aug, 2012
Lalrozama Fanai, born on November 30, 1991, is a professional footballer who is a product of Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy. He has joined McDowell Mohun Bagan this year from Pailan Arrows. He plays as a left back and has played for 3 years in Pune FC. Ashley Cole being his favourite player, last year he scored a stunning goal against McDowell Mohun Bagan. He will be wearing Jersey No. 15 this season.
We had a chat with him during the residential camp in Durgapur.
MMB: How has been your experience in Mohun Bagan so far?
Fanai: I had a good time here in Durgapur and I am really enjoying the practice sessions. The way he explains to us and the variations in practice is very interesting and I am enjoying them a lot.
I had a good time interacting with other players while in the residential camp. By the way, I know this place (Durgapur) very well, since I was in the Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy for 3 years.
MMB: Did you have offer from other clubs? Why did you choose to join Mohun Bagan?
Fanai: Yes, I had offers from 2 more clubs, but like other players I always wanted to play for a big team like McDowell Mohun Bagan. It is a dream come true for me, but I have only got half of the job done, as first and foremost I will have to perform well, whenever I get a chance to play.
MMB: Do you think there will be pressure when you play in front of a packed stadium?
Fanai: I am not thinking about all that. Currently, I know there is no pressure on me. I am getting good support from my teammates, especially the seniors and whenever I get a chance to play, I will give my best.
MMB: Are you a left footed player?
MMB: Say something about you early days as a footballer.
Fanai: I was born in Aizawl, Mizoram. My father used to play football for the Police team. When I was in Class 5, I used to play football with the senior players of my school. I used to play in the midfield those days.
In the year 2003-04, I joined Bawngkawn, a team from Aizawl and played in the local league. I played as a left back or as a left half.
In 2005, I joined Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy.
MMB: Share with us your experience of being in Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy.
Fanai: I was in the Academy from 2005 to 2007. Our biggest achievement was to win the Indian Zone of MUFC Cup and then going to Thailand to qualify for the final round held in Manchester. In the final of the Indian round, we defeated East Bengal. I played as a stopper in that tournament.
It was a great experience playing the final round in Manchester against top teams of the World.
We also won a tournament in Singapore.
MMB: When did you first get a chance in the Indian team?
Fanai: In 2007-08, I was called up to the U-19 Indian team but I did not have a passport and could not travel with the team.
My first tournament for U-19 India was the AFC qualifier in Iraq. I also played in the SAAF Games. Later on, I also played for the U-21 and U-23 Indian team. I was part of the U-23 Indian team that played in Asian Games 2010.
MMB: Which was your best match for the Indian team?
Fanai: The match in Asian Games where we defeated Singapore.
MMB: Which was your first professional club?
Fanai: I joined Pune FC in November 2007 and played for 3 seasons. While in Pune FC, I played as left back.
MMB: When did you join Pailan Arrows?
Fanai: I played for Pailan Arrows in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
MMB: You scored against Mohun Bagan last year.
Fanai: Yes, that was the best goal of my career so far. My cross from the left flank took a swerve, beat the goalkeeper, hit the post and went inside goal. We took the lead through that goal. However, in the 2nd half, Odafa scored a hattrick and Mohun Bagan won the match 3-1.
MMB: Which are your favourite teams in world football?
Fanai: Manchester United and England.
MMB: Who is your favourite player in world football?
Fanai: Ashley Cole.
MMB: Who is your favourite Indian player?
MMB: In yesterday's practice match, you scored a nice goal from penalty, (his left footed shot hit the top corner of the net, though goalkeeper Naveen Kumar had dived in the right direction, he failed to get a touch to the ball) are you a set-piece movement specialist?
Fanai: (Smiling) I used to take corners while playing in Pune FC, though in Pailan Arrows I took set-piece movements occasionally.
MMB: Which opponent midfielder has caused you most problem?
MMB: Best of luck for the season.
Fanai: Thanks a lot.
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