The silent guardians at the back, the goalkeepers, often enjoy protracted professional careers. Kerala Blasters' Sandip Nandy is one such goalkeeper. The 39-year-old shot-stopper has enjoyed a successful professional footballing career, highlighted with trophies and accolades, for both club and country.
Nandy started his professional career with Indian football powerhouse Mohun Bagan. After a short stint with the Kolkata giants and Tollygunge Agragami, he moved to East Bengal. Donning the red and gold colours, Nandy dished out some stellar performances and became a key link in Subhas Bhowmick’s all-conquering East Bengal squad.
After a glorious spell with the club, Nandy moved on to clubs such as Mahindra United and Chirag United. Solid performances saw the keeper earning a recall to the national team in 2012-13 after a gap of seven years.
The Indian veteran has won almost all possible trophies there are in the Indian sub-continent with his club sides. Nandy has won five National Football League/I-League titles, the Federation Cup, Durand Cup and IFA Shield. He was also awarded the AIFF Best Goalkeeper of the I-League for his solid performances in the 2012-13 season.
A winner of the SAFF Cup 2005 with India, Nandy was subsequently signed by Kerala Blasters in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) and was reunited with former East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan.
After a rugged start to his ISL campaign, wherein he often took a backseat to former Liverpool goalkeeper David James, Nandy burst into the limelight when the Englishman was sidelined with injury. The shot-stopper from West Bengal dished out some stunning saves and kept Kerala in matches where defeat looked inevitable.
Out of 27 shots faced, Nandy has kept out 25 and conceded only twice. The Indian veteran also boasts three clean sheets to his name. He has often been Kerala's saving grace and with the Indian veteran in red-hot form, Nandy could retain his place in the starting XI in the second semi-final leg in Chennai.
Nandy’s glorious career, highlighted by his recent goalkeeping form, has justified that age is just a number in football.Published 16 Dec 2014, 01:05 IST