ISL 2019/20: Seityasen Singh feels Kerala Blasters are all set to perform well after a tough start to the season (Exclusive)
Seityasen Singh receives the ball from Jessel Carneiro in Kerala's half, beats a defender, dribbles to the edge of the box and finally shoots into Hyderabad's post. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi erupts in cheer as the Blasters score their fourth goal of the match.
The joy of a beautiful solo move to register his first-ever goal for his new club was all over the 27-year old's face as he sat down for an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, a few days after Kerala Blasters' 5-1 victory over Hyderabad FC in the ISL.
All matches are important and crucial. We had to win the Hyderabad match. They scored first but after that, we scored again and again. Then, I got my goal. I am so happy for my first goal for Blasters and it is my new year gift.
However, looking back at the season, Seityasen realizes that his time with Blasters so far has not been very pleasing in terms of results. But, the Manipuri player backed his teammates by stating that all of them give their 100 percent on the field.
The situation is not very good. We started very well. In the middle, we lost some easy games and points. The team has very good players. The good thing is that all players give their 100 percent. The bad thing is that we had our players injured. That’s why we were unlucky to lose with such a problem. Now, most of our players are fully fit and the team is all set to perform well.
Kerala Blasters head coach Eelco Schattorie often had problems on the flanks, with his wingers being rotated frequently due to injury concerns. Since Seityasen's return from a long injury, the gaffer has started him in every game. Speaking on the coach's trust, the player said,
I had a knee injury. Last year I didn’t play. After six games I became fully fit and I was waiting for my opportunities. Then the coach trusted me. When I started the game I gave my best and after that, I have been able to start again and again.
After a great season with Delhi Dynamos in the ISL in 2017-18, Seityasen took on a bigger challenge when he signed for NorthEast United in the 2018-19 season. However, an ACL injury kept him out of action for the whole year, badly affecting the winger's career.
It was a very difficult period. It was the first major injury in my career. So I couldn’t handle it. But I stood strong, I wanted to play football because it was my career.
Even after plying his trade for half a dozen clubs over his career, Seityasen has a special place for Royal Wahingdoh in his life. He spoke with a smile about the bond he has with the Shillong-based club.
Royal Wahingdoh is the first club in my career. I played five seasons for them, first in the second division and then got promoted to the I-League. We finished third in the I-League. After that, I moved to the ISL. But, Royal Wahingdoh for me is very special in my career.
Seityasen has represented the Indian national team in five games and was part of the side that participated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Recalling his days on national duty, the Manipur-born player labelled his debut as a special moment in his life. He said,
It was a very special gift for me. As a player, everyone likes to play for the national team. I played my debut against Oman and it was a very special moment in my life.
Kerala Blasters have a promising bunch of young players, especially from the NorthEast states. Halicharan Narzary, Jeakson Singh, and Mohammed Rakip are some of the regular starters in Eelco's plans along with Seityasen Singh. The bench also has Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Lalruatthara and Pritam Singh. Seitya, however, feels that the team unity has a higher position than the regional similarities. He quipped,
It doesn’t matter if it’s a NorthEast player. It’s like a teamwork. We train together every day, every month. So we are looking forward to a good performance and good teamwork. It is not about NorthEast players. We need to stay together.
One good result hasn't taken the player off his feet as he realizes the importance of the Blasters' upcoming games. The former Salgaocar player is aware that for his team to advance to the playoffs, they need to put up a tough fight. Still, he signed off with optimism on making it to the playoffs through their narrow chances.
We want to play three matches away continuously. ATK is at the second position, Jamshedpur is also a very good team. We have to play like champions and fight for the playoffs.