India Football Tour: Interview with the finalists 'Star Strikers'
Excerpts from a discussion with the finalists 'Star Strikers' from Delhi.
Team "Star Strikers" From Delhi qualified for the finals of the India Football Tour and here’s first of the series of interviews of the finalists, who, after a lot of hard-work and perseverance have made it to the last stage of the tournament.
1. How excited are you for the finals?
Very Much Excited. The team is participating in an International tournament after a very long time. Last time they participated was the Delhi leg of the International Budweiser Cup and lost in the semi-finals.
2. How have you been preparing for the finals?
Very Hard. Players are doing their fitness and individual practice every weekday since most of them are working. They make sure to meet and play together on a weekend in some tournament or get a team to play some practise matches.
3. What sets your team apart?
Individual brilliance and friendship between the guys. They have been playing together for almost 5-6 years now and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
4. Players in your team to watch out for and why?
Tony (Striker from Nigeria): He has been playing with the team for like 2 years now and has gelled well. Players have taught him some Hindi as well so that he can understand what other team players are talking about.
Pulkit Mehta (Goalkeeper): One of the best 5-a-side goalkeepers in Delhi. He was part of the winning team that went to play Budweiser finals in London. Unable to beat in penalties.
Ankit James (Midfielder): Delhi’s best 5-a-side midfielder with an uncanny knack of scoring goals.
Pradeep Kumar (Striker): Nick-named PK, he was part of the time till November last year but had to relocate to Bangalore for a govt. job. Fierce left footer and can score goal from any part of the football field.
Pawandeep (Defender): Nick-named Milkha Singh because of his built and being a Sikh, he is energetic, quick and has a bullet kick when it comes to shooting.
Imran Ali (Midfielder): A brilliant left-footed player with a lot of skills up his bag. He scores goal from the most difficult angles and at the most important times.
5. How has the experience with IFT been - “Quotes from individual players”
Tony: Experience has been fantastic and I’ll win this cup for my manager.
Pulkit: Would love to play in one more International tournament and represent India
Ankit James (Midfielder): Looking forward to Bangalore and play with PK after 1 year
Pradeep Kumar (Striker): Dying to play for Star Strikers, my original team that I started playing football for
Pawandeep: Waiting to relax after a hectic time at work and only play football.
6. History of your club/team. How it all started? How has the journey been?
A bunch of school players started playing in soccer tournaments. Gradually gained interest with some corporates and were selected to work for different corporate teams. But they always wanted to play together. So they officially made a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/starstrikersfootballclub).
One of the top 2 teams when it comes to 5/6-a-side tournament with a huge fan following. The popularity has grown so much that they now have a Senior and a Junior team. Won 3 out of 5 Adidas Super Series tournaments organised by Adidas.