The 2013-14 season was another difficult campaign for Mohun Bagan as they went trophyless and finished eighth in the I-League. But on a positive note several youngsters made their mark under the coaching of Karim Bencherifa and look set to have a bright future for club and country.
One of those improved starlets is 21-year-old defender Shouvik Ghosh, who flourished playing as a left back even though naturally he is a central defender. The former Arrows captain has been rewarded with a call-up to India U-23’s Asian Games preparatory camp in Bangalore starting from July 1 and the player believes operating in a new position last season has contributed in his overall improvement.
“I think playing as a left back for most of last season has improved my overall game. I am accustomed to two different positions in defence now so that would surely help me in the long run. There is a lot of competition for places in the U-23 squad so hopefully my versatility will give an advantage,” Shouvik told Sportskeeda during an exclusive chat.
The Bengali lad has been close to a senior India cap in the last 18 months but is now focusing entirely on becoming a regular in the Asian Games team. He has already undergone pre-season training at his club Mohun Bagan and is now eager to impress India coach Wim Koevermans.
“I know my time in the senior national team will come one day if I keep working hard and be consistent at domestic level. But now I just want to get into the first eleven of the Asian Games team. I have had a good start to the pre-season with my club and now I can’t wait for the Asian Games camp to start. There will be plenty of good players in the camp so I have to be at my absolute best,” he added.
Shouvik also talked about his excitement on the prospect of facing Pakistan in the twin friendlies. India take on their arch-rivals in Bangalore on August 17 and 20 and the defender is expecting big crowds for both games.
“We have seen how passionate the city of Bangalore is during Bengaluru FC home games so I am sure there will be a good turnout for both the games against Pakistan also. It will be a proud moment to play in those two matches because India vs Pakistan is always a massive clash in any sport. Those two matches are a further motivation to train hard and impress the coach during the camp,” said the India youth international.Published 27 Jun 2014, 19:12 IST