I am fit and ready to play, says Sony Norde ahead of Aizawl clash
Life has changed so much for him in the last ten months.
On January 22, 2018, he had to leave Mohun Bagan after suffering from a persistent knee injury. Before the pre-departure press conference, he wept like a child in front of everyone. The green-and-maroons were witnessing a tough period that time under the then coach Sanjoy Sen. But he had promised that one day that he’ll come back to play for this club.
No one thought the moment would come so soon.
Life has come to a full circle and Sony Norde is back with Mohun Bagan again. Before him, the club signed some of the talented foreigners in the country but supporters wanted that man: Sony Norde. So when the Haitian’s arrival was announced a couple of weeks ago, every green-and-maroon fans erupted in joy.
“It’s good to be back again on Mohun Bagan. They are now the champion of the Calcutta Football League. Some supporters were asking me to come back. Now I am very happy to be back and will give my best for the club,” Norde stated in his first press conference after arrival.
As Sportskeeda earlier reported, Sony has signed himself on the IFA office on Friday and in all likelihood would be included in tomorrow’s squad against Aizawl. But is he fully fit and ready to play? Norde said, “Yes, I am. But it’s up to the coach, if he wants me to play 120 minutes I am ready for that. I know myself very well. I worked hard to be ready. And now can I can play for 90 minutes or 120 minutes whatever the coach will ask.”
Norde said he had endured the toughest part of his life in the last ten months. A knee injury is the last thing that a footballer wants and now he’s very happy to be back on the green grass. But what made him come back so soon? “It’s all about dedication. I know I can only play football. When you love something but you’re away from it somehow, then you won’t feel happy. After I was done with my surgery, I just wanted to be back on the pitch as soon as possible. Every time I saw matches of Mohun Bagan, I wanted to be there. Fortunately, all things went good. I went to Miami and got myself involved in practice with the help of some friends. I had four coaches, who helped me to get the touch back. Now I want to prove myself on the pitch,” Norde said.
He may be lucky this time as Mohun Bagan have players who can ease the pressure off from him. The likes of Dipanda Dicka and Henry Kisekka have already proven their mettle on the pitch. “Everyone knows Dicka is a very good player. Henry played really well in the CFL. So I hope I can help them to score more order so the team can win more matches,” said Norde.
“This year Mohun Bagan picked very good foreign players and some young local players as well. They are all doing very well. I think the squad is very good this time. Moreover, this will ease pressures from me. I can push myself more and can play freely,” added Norde.
Norde, who played two seasons on loan at ISL club Mumbai City, has got offers this time from other franchises. But the love and passion for Mohun Bagan brought him back to the Kolkata-club. “I got some offers from the ISL clubs. Six months after my surgery, ATK and Delhi Dynamos contacted me and offered to play for them. I got another offer from a Dubai-based club. But my knee was not okay then and I had to say no to them. But when Mohun Bagan officials contacted me I didn’t hesitate and made up my mind to play for Mohun Bagan. We have good supporters and hopefully, we can achieve success together.”
After Jose Ramirez Barreto, Norde will be the first foreigner to play for Mohun Bagan in five consecutive seasons. When asked about it, Norde said, “It’s difficult for a foreigner to play five consecutive seasons in a club like Mohun Bagan or East Bengal. There is always a pressure to perform. But when you do that, it’s only because God is kind to you. Every year Mohun Bagan officials contacted me and wanted me to play for their club. I have happy to have this opportunity again and hopefully, I will play well so that they contact me for the next season also.”
What about his arch-rivals and the famous stun-gun celebration? “I saw both their matches. They are playing very good football. They are going all-out to win their matches. It’s something that Mohun Bagan also need to do. Regarding stun-gun celebration, it’s all about the moment. When you are working hard on the pitch and you score a goal then you can do any celebration. But I know the supporters like this celebration,” Norde signed off.