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TFA felicitates Deepak Mondal

848   //    28 Oct 2010, 03:12 IST

Jamshedpur’s Tata Football Academy earlier today felicitated international defender Deepak Kumar Mondal for being the first former cadet of the Academy to receive an Arjuna Award. The info came as a surprise to me that no TFA cadet had earlier been awarded an Arjuna Award, but then how often do footballers get the Arjuna Award…

Present on the occasion were members of TFA management board and the Chief of corporate social services of Tata Steel, Satish Pillai. Others from Tata Steel and the Tata Football Academy also graced the occasion.

Deepak said that he was fortunate to be the first TFA cadet to have received an Arjuna Award. Deepak had graduated from the Tata Football Academy in 1998 in a batch along with others like Naseem Akhtar, Mahesh Gawli, James Lukram Singh, Noel Anthony Wilson, Roque Barreto, Dipankar Roy and Sheikh Sanjeeb. In his club career Deepak has played for JCT, East Bengal, Mahindra United and Mohun Bagan.

To recap. Deepak was the first footballer in eight years to receive the Arjuna Award a couple of months back. Deepak has been a player with the Indian national team for over a decade, a dependable no-nonsense kind of guy on and off the field, who is liked by one and all. The Arjuna award for Deepak comes as much-needed recognition for the national football team which has won the Nehru Cup 2007 & 2009 plus the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup to qualify for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.

I've been reporting about football since 1998 - as founder of IndianFootball.Com, for other publications &amp; have also worked for radio &amp; television. You can follow me on my "Arunava About Football" blog <a href="">ArunFoot</a> &amp; on <a href="">Twitter</a>
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