Humble yet confident – and most importantly, down to earth. That’s Alwyn George for you. And testimony to his reassuring self-belief was the recently concluded AFC U-22 Championship in Muscat where the Indian colts performed admirably well.
Alwyn impressed in all the three matches he played. If a brace in the opening encounter against Lebanon was a sign of things to come, this 20-year old attacking midfielder found the back of the net every time he donned the Blue.
But all that is past now. His good show has earned him a place in the senior team – in the final list of 20 for the Nehru Cup.
“I play just behind the striker and my job is to distribute the ball and set it up for the striker. The 1-4-4-1-1 suits me as I can fit in that hole behind the striker. Wim has always been guiding me and giving me instructions,” said George.
“Let this be the start. I have worked hard and it is my dream to play for the Indian Senior Team. My performance in the AFC Championship has helped me become more confident,” added George who plies his trade with AIFF’s developmental side Pailan Arrows.
Having played under Arthur Papas, who was the coach of the U-22 team in Muscat, George feels that Koevermans and Papas are quite similar in their tactics. “Both of them have similar styles and their way of approaching the game suits me.”
In fact, his graph has been on a high ever since he graduated from the Tata Football Academy. He was roped in by Pailan and immediately drafted into the I-League Starting XI. His main strength stays his runs which invariably catches the rival defence on wrong foot.
A man of few words, George though was keen to share his Muscat adventures. “We performed really well under testing circumstances in Muscat. We were lower ranked and played against some good quality opposition. I am really happy we performed so well. It was a great learning curve.”
He has already made an impression among his Seniors. “Mark my words, this is a very big star in the making,” Syed Rahim Nabi referred to Alwyn the other day. “I only pray he stays away from injuries. He is a special talent.”
Alwyn smiled. He knows, his journey has just begun. “I have to last the distance. I need to be consistent and improve at every step.”
More details and exclusive updates on the the NEHRU CUP will be available at www.facebook.com/cpd81
(AIFF Press Release / Written by Debayan Mukherjee)