Interview with Shem Marton Eugene: "Hope to win I-League with Chennai City FC"
Shem Marton Eugene, the 23-year-old winger from Pooliyur in Kerala, is undoubtedly one of the best local signings made by Chennai City FC this season. Shem Marton was roped in by CCFC for the I-League because of his superb dribbling skills and his on-field exploits for Viva Chennai in the CFA (Chennai Football Association) Senior Division.
He is also a versatile player as he can play the role of a winger, midfielder and also as a wingback for his side. Despite making only three appearances so far, he is expected to play a more crucial role in the upcoming games for Chennai City FC. He has displayed extraordinary ball-control skills and has the ability to score goals from a long range.
Sportskeeda caught up with the midfielder for an exclusive interview.
What has your journey in football been like?
My football career began in my hometown where I played for a club representing our area in the Trivandrum League. After that, I played for Sethu FC which is based in Madurai and was a part of Madurai League.
After a few good performances, I moved to Chennai to play for Viva Chennai in the CFA Senior Division. Now I am currently plying my trade for Chennai City FC in the I-League. It has been a great journey so far and I want to keep going, improving every day.
What made you take up football as your career?
Even during my school and college days, I didn't think of taking up football as a profession. I liked playing it very much. Football became my main priority only when I joined Sethu FC in Madurai.
What, according to you, are your biggest achievements?
I was captain of the Tamil Nadu U-19 team, where I played along with Ajith Kamaraj (another Chennai City FC player). I have also played for MS University, Anna University. I narrowly missed out on making it to the Tamil Nadu squad for the Santosh Trophy because of an injury.
Moving on to Chennai's incredible journey this season. They are top of the league with 21 points in 10 games, three ahead of second-placed Real Kashmir. What's the secret behind CCFC's form?
The secret to our success is our team bonding and coordination. We are like a family and have a great understanding.
How has coach Akbar Nawas transformed you as a player?
Working with coach Akbar has been like a dream to me. He has been the best coach I have ever worked with and he has improved me technically.
I am very grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to work with him. He always tells me to play with concentration and he is very motivating. He is very sharp when it comes to tactics and helps us practice those in training.
Even if we commit a mistake, he always encourages us and asks us to move on. There are no words to describe him.
What has been the impact of foreign players in CCFC? How do they help you?
The foreign players are all specialist footballers. They are all very friendly and treat me like a brother. I would like to salute them. They have all come from top leagues in the world. They are always encouraging and try to improve us.
How did the move to Chennai City FC happen?
I attended the trials which were held in Chennai for two days in the month of May. They also scouted and kept trials at Thoothoor. Finally, there was a 5-day trial in Chennai and a total of nine players were shortlisted and I was one among them.
I am very glad to be part of the CCFC family. I am enjoying every day and it is like a dream to me.
(Shem Marton Eugene talks about his personal goals and the friendship with S Rajesh of Gokulam Kerala in the next slide)