Interview: Warundeep Singh21-Jul, 2012
Warundeep Singh, born on September 20, 1986, plays as a stopper back who has joined McDowell Mohun Bagan this season from Sporting Clube de Goa. A student of TFA, Warundeep considers Mahesh Gawli as his idol. He started his professional football career with Churchill Brothers where he played for 5 years. He will be wearing Jersey No. 28 this season.
MMB: When did you get the offer to play for McDowell Mohun Bagan?
Warundeep: Towards the end of last season I got the offer from McDowell Mohun Bagan. I was offered the chance to play for McDowell Mohun Bagan twice before. The first time was when I just passed out from TFA and the next at the end of the 2010-11 season. Earlier, I was a bit hesitant to come to Kolkata because of the pressure, but this year I made up my mind to play for McDowell Mohun Bagan.
MMB: How have you decided to tackle the pressure?
Warundeep: See, my job will be to play football and not be bothered about who is saying what about me. Right now, I am fully focused on the training camp and whenever coach gives me a chance in the team, I will have to prove my ability.
The positive part of playing in Kolkata is you are always under the limelight and every player likes to play in front of a huge number of supporters who are cheering for your team. I am also extremely happy with the facilities that I am getting in McDowell Mohun Bagan.
Warundeep trains with teammates at the club ground
MMB: How is the residential camp going on?
Warundeep: I am really enjoying the training sessions of Coach Santosh Kashyap, plus the fact that we are all staying together, interacting with each other constantly will help to increase the bond between players.
MMB: Are you receiving guidance from the senior players?
Warundeep: Among the seniors, Dipendu da and Manish Maithani guide us nicely. Also I have become friendly with Manish Bharghav, Jewel Raja, Rakesh Masih etc.
MMB: When did you start playing football?
Warundeep: I am from Jalandhar and I started playing football in the year 1999. I was playing football locally in my area. I joined TFA in 2002 and passed out in 2006.
Warundeep defends against Tolgay during practice
MMB: Would you like to share your experience of being in TFA?
Warundeep: I learnt a lot about football at TFA and it helped me to become a better footballer. While in TFA, I used to play in stopper as well as left back position.
TFA went to play in Holland where we won the Harlem Cup. We also played in the qualifying round of 2nd Division I-League and qualified for the 2nd Division.
MMB: Which was your first professional club?
Warundeep: I joined Churchill Brothers in 2006 and played there for 5 years. Initially, I also got offer from McDowell Mohun Bagan, but I did not want to play in Kolkata at that time and decided to gather experience by playing in Goa.
Churchill Brothers won the Durand Cup in 2007. We defeated Mahindra United in the final by 1-0. Churchill Brothers played 3-5-2 formation in that tournament. Other than me, the other 2 defenders were Rowilson Rodrigues and Gourmangi Singh.
I also played in the IFA Shield final where we defeated McDowell Mohun Bagan to clinch the title.
We also won the I-League in 2009. I was part of the team in 1st leg though in return leg I got injured.
The last season I played in Sporting Clube de Goa.
MMB: Which was your best match from last season?
Warundeep: The match against Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium which ended in a 1-1 draw and the home match against Pune FC which we won 4-2. If I have to choose one, I would say the match against Pune FC was my best match in the last season.
MMB: Share with us your experience of playing for India?
Warundeep: While In TFA, I got chance in the U-19 Indian team. We played a tournament held in Jamshedpur. In the next year, I was part of the U-19 Indian team that played in a tournament in Thailand.
Then for the U-23 Indian team, I played in the SAFF games where we finished runners up, losing to Pakistan in the final. I also played in the Olympic Qualifiers.
I have been called for Senior Indian team camp a few times.
MMB: Did you play in the Santosh Trophy?
Warundeep: Yes, I played for Punjab but lost to Bengal in the Santosh Trophy final.
Warundeep looks to stop Nabi during practice
MMB: Who is your favourite partner in central defence?
Warundeep: Rowilson Rodriguez.
MMB: Who is your favourite Indian stopper?
Warundeep: Mahesh Gawli who is also my idol.
MMB: Who is your favourite International stopper?
Warundeep: John Terry.
MMB: Which opponent striker has caused you most problem?
Warundeep: Ranty Martins.
MMB: Who is your favourite coach?
Warundeep: Jose Mourinho.
MMB: Your favourite club and country in International Football?
Warundeep: Chelsea and Brazil.
MMB: Best of luck for the season, Warundeep.
Warundeep: Thank you.
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