Robin Singh sheds light on his career and eyes national team recall under Igor Stimac
- Robin Singh reminisces over his career and eyes a recall to the Indian national team under Igor Stimac
Robin Singh is an Indian football veteran who has seen a lot of highs and has been at the receiving end of tough times in the past couple of years. From scoring a brace for his first professional club in East Bengal in the Kolkata Derby to winning the I-League with Bengaluru FC, Robin Singh was soaked in glory in his early twenties.
He also made his national team debut in 2012 against the Maldives and scored his first goal in the 90th minute against Chinese Taipei, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the match. When we asked Singh to pick the best moment of his career, he couldn't pick one and said:
“It’s highly disrespectful to choose one, I don’t think I would ever want to put them into numbers. Scoring for your country is very special and scoring in the Kolkata Derby has always been special for every player in Indian football history. Winning the I-League with Bengaluru FC was a special team moment and I want to make more of such moments and I want to play for as long as I can”
A 10-year long professional career for a footballer means a lot of special moments for the player, but it also comes with a certain share of lows. Singh is currently representing Hyderabad FC in Indian Super League 2019-20 and the club is in a state of turmoil, as they sit bottom of the table with 10 losses and a solitary victory in 14 league games this season.
The 29-year-old striker is one of the senior players of the squad and is of the opinion that the team is trying their best to achieve their goals.
“It’s a team in transition and change is always difficult. The team there works hard every single day irrespective of the results. Hardwork brings results, if not today, then tomorrow, perspiration and hard work never goes unnoticed."
Also, on a personal level, the Noida-born forward is struggling a bit as he hasn't turned out for India in the last couple of years but is aiming to return to the national setup imminently.
“This is the coach’s decision. I will always want to play for my country, no matter where I am or what I do. My job as an athlete is to work the hardest I can and I make sure everyday that I do that. When I go home, I ensure that I can say I did enough today and left my heart on the pitch and leave it up to Igor Stimac to say that Robin fits into my plan.”
He also praised the Indian team for progressively improving over the past few years.
"You have seen that the rank is continuously improving and the style of play is improving, so we are obviously growing. When there is growth, there are results at the end of the tunnel, it’s just about being patient."
Since joining East Bengal, Singh has mostly played as the centre forward but that wasn't always the case, as the Noida-born centre forward started as a full back.
“I was 16 years old, almost turning 17 when I joined the Tata Football Academy. So, I was a left-back when I joined, then I played on the left wing which was my position while playing for India U-19 national team and over the next few years, I transitioned into a striker. That change was great because as a footballer, I get the most excited when I score goals, so I think it was but natural for me to play as a striker.”
Questioned on how he adjusted to seeing less of the ball, the 29-year old replied, “I feel that in 90 minutes of football, an average player gets to see the ball for 3 minutes, so, for me, it’s not about seeing less of the ball, it’s about doing more when you get it.”
When quizzed about which manager helped him the most during his career, Singh refused to pick one, going on to add that he has had the privilege of working with a handful of top-class tacticians.
“All the managers have been very helpful to me and I am being very honest here and not trying to be politically correct. Each manager has taught me something that I have put in my game, I have been honoured enough to play for Roberto Carlos who is a former Real Madrid player and that’s my favorite team. Each coach that I have played for brought something different to my game and I have tried to make the most of it.”
Robin Singh could be termed as India's forgotten man but the 29-year-old is aiming to return to the national team fray imminently, as he looks to spend the twilight years of his career fruitfully.Published 28 Jan 2020, 02:11 IST