THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Holicharan Narzary: I have a mountain to climb

Holicharan Narzary (left) during an I-League match

For a youngster, it’s detrimental to rest on laurels. Pailan Arrows striker Holicharan Narzary – hogging the limelight for his poaching ability (3 goals in 2 matches in the I-League this season) seems to have learnt the lesson very early, thanks to Pailan Arrows’ coach Arthur Papas.

The 19-year old Narzary stays quick to point out he still has a mountain to climb and this success is just that ‘launching pad’ he needs to fulfill his dreams of donning the hallowed Blue one day.

“I am very happy with my performance. But I am not going overboard, not an inch. I know this is just the beginning and I have to maintain this standard and be consistent enough to be picked everytime in any format and for any level. It is consistency that will get me to where I want,” he says in one breath.

Narzary acknowledges the contribution of Papas in his success and philosophy. “He (Papas) always motivates me and tells me that I have to keep the level high. I cannot drop my standard and for that hard work is most important. He stresses on the fact that complacency kills and this is just the stepping stone for me.”

He continued his praise for the Australian under whom the marksman has played in the U22 AFC Qualifiers in Muscat. “It’s wonderful to be under the tutelage of Papas. You get to learn a lot. He makes you so comfortable that the learning becomes fun. He takes immense care of the players and corrects mistakes in a friendly manner.”

Scoring against Dempo in the Federation Cup opener stays Narzary’s best moment. “After I scored against Dempo in the Fed Cup, I said to myself ‘Yes I can play, yes I can do it!’ I was elated after scoring against the Goan giants and I just can’t describe it. I grew in confidence after that.”

It would be stupid to ask whether he aspires to play for India someday. But ask him his future plans, and Narzary quips immediately: “All I am doing right now is for one motive — that is to play for India. I dream of that day when I’ll don the Indian jersey and stand for the National Anthem. I am striving hard to fulfill my dream.

“Alwyn George is a great friend of mine and we share great camaraderie on and off the field. He has played for India and he is also a motivation for me. Actually we both motivate each other to do well. We love stitching passes together.”

Narzary, who hails from Assam was part of Colm Toal’s squad in the AFC U19 Qualifiers in Tehran in November 2011. “We came so close to qualifying for the final phase. I still can’t get over that match against Uzbekistan. They had seven players from the Uzbekistan squad which had reached the quarterfinals of the U17 World Cup the previous year,” he recollects.

“A match which we should have won minimum by a 4 goal margin ended in us losing 1-2. We allowed them to escape as we failed to convert. That’s football. Hence, I am working hard to convert what comes our way.”

(AIFF Press Release)