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Posted on Nov 29, 01:02PM | IBNS
India Team striker Manandeep Singh has made a mark since the last edition of the I-League. In East Bengal this season, the guy from Hissar (Haryana) has made it a habit to score vital goals for his team whenever in need. In a freewheeling interview to www.the-aiff.com, the 20-year striker, a product of All India Football Federation's Youth Development Programme (YDP) spoke at length on life as a footballer in Kolkata, playing for East Bengal, his performance, Colm Toal and a lot more.
As a footballer, how do you define life in Kolkata?
As a footballer, life in Kolkata is very different from other states. People adore you, they respect you. I love to see the craziness among fans. It feels really special to play football in this part of the country. Even when you go out, you get recognized everywhere. Kolkata gives you an identity as a footballer.
Many a footballer say - 'One stays incomplete unless you play in Kolkata?' Is that true?
Very much! The attention brings with it the responsibility of fulfilling so man wishes. The adulation comes for a cause and there's everyone demanding something from you at every step. It's a challenge not to let the fans down.
Given the fact that you joined East Bengal, a demanding club - how much optimistic were you in getting a chance to play?
It's not only in East Bengal but the healthy competition for a first XI slot happens in every club. Having said that, it's obvious, in big clubs like East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Dempo, the competition is more. You have to fight through it.
Santosh Kashyap used to tell me that life gives an opportunity to all. One has to grab it when it comes. I follow that philosophy a lot.