Edwin Sydney Vanspaul is one of the best midfielders in the I-League. He is one of the most prized possessions of Chennai City FC as he is a complete midfielder with a good array of long-range passing skills. He is a very compatible player and can play the role of a winger, midfielder, centre back and striker.
Sportskeeda caught up with the midfielder for an exclusive interview. Here are some of the excerpts.
Q. How did you begin your football career?
It is ever Indian footballers dream to play I-League and ISL. It was the same for me. At the age of 19, I started giving trials to clubs like Pune FC Salgoacar and Mumbai. I didn't get selected in any of these trials but I still waited for the moment to sign for a football club. At 24, I got to know about Chennai City FC's direct entry into the I-League. I was badly waiting for the chance to break into the team. Robin Charles Raja was the first coach of Chennai City FC and he gave a chance to me. I got selected in the trials and they signed me. After all the struggle and hardships, I made it to Chennai City FC and I will never forget the people who made me reach here. It really means a lot and I want to deserve special credits to my owner Rohit Ramesh.
Q. What does the coach expect from you?
Yeah, my coach expects a lot from me because I am playing under him for the 2nd consecutive season. He knows my capacity and we both have a good understanding. So he improves me after each and every training. He also has better plans for me during the match.
Q. What kind of football will Chennai play this season?
Our coach wants us to have the ball possession and he teaches us the time to attack and time to defend. Most of the time, we should have the ball in our side irrespective of the situation.
Q. You have been a very compatible and versatile player. How do you prepare for that?
It's important that a player should adapt to the coach and has to do what the coach says. I don't know but whatever role the coach asks me to play, I do my best in that position. So, that's why he makes me play the wing or wingback position. I don't have any secret for the preparation.
Q. Abar Nawas has coached several top-tier sides including Tampines Rovers and Global Cebu. What has been the impact of Akbar in your footballing career?
We have got the ball possession and we are pretty high in confidence. Even though we play 4 versus 2 or 3 versus 1 in the practise sessions, he has given us the confidence to purely play possession-based football in difficult situations also. He also makes us practice in virtual tough situations.
Q. You have a huge number of fans in Coimbatore. What would you like to convey them?
Since I started playing professional football, everyone used to me like "I am your big fan" but I tell them that everyone is equal. So, there is no fans and all. I see them as a part of my family. I just want to convey that we need their support and their encouragement will mean a lot to the team. Their continued support will improve the players a lot.
Q. Chennai City FC will play Indian Arrows in the first clash of I-League. What are your expectations?
Indian Arrows are a young side and they have more experience as they have played matches against Argentina and Colombia and a lot of other countries. They are very good as a team and every player knows each other since they are playing for a long time. I am sure that the first match will be a tough one but we have lots more advantages because we are playing in our home ground. The result is unpredictable but we will give our best.
Q. Chennai City FC won the pre-season friendly against Bengaluru FC 2-1 and also a plethora of top footballers from Spain. Can the fans expect Chennai City FC to clinch the title this season?
The I-League is a long tournament and the results are very much unpredictable and anyone can win. The team who puts on the extra effort in the match will surely win the title. I am sure that we too will put hard work in the field and try to win the title.Published 24 Oct 2018, 10:40 IST