“Hard work is the rhythm” of the Indian National Team in the Preparatory Camp in Mumbai currently gearing up to face Cambodia in an International Friendly on March 22 in Phnom Penh before taking on Myanmar on March 28 in their AFC Asian Cup Uae 2019 Qualifying campaign opener.
Unity comes next and teamwork more than individuality is preferred. Arnab Mondal, no stranger to either hard work or unity, mentions on the side-lines of the Andheri Sports Complex: “It is about us, not I or me.”
“We win as a team; we lose as a team. We will work hard as a team and evolve as a team. There is no room for individual play when you are representing your country,” he maintained at a media interaction.
“The fact that you are playing for your country should inspire you to give your best, every time you go on the pitch.”
Arnab believes that the AFC Asian Cup Qualifying campaign will be a challenge in itself for the transition of the National Team.
“If we perform to the best of our abilities the future generations will benefit from it as India will be counted in one of the top nations in Asian football. We are working hard to qualify for the next round and we have confidence in ourselves that if we play our best we can,” he stated.
“However, the other teams are also preparing and it will be a tough battle for qualification in the group. Our opener against Myanmar will be a very hard match. They are a very strong side. We need to be cautious.”
Head Coach Stephen Constantine has handed debuts to 30 players ever since he took over in February 2015.
“The players that had been picked by the Coach (Constantine) have now a bit of experience under their belt and the transition is almost complete. They (the players) now understand how the coach wants them to work and reciprocate quickly to his methods,” he pronounced.
“Results don’t come overnight, we have been working hard for so long and now is the time to earn results,” Arnab said.
Experience is a major ingredient of a seasoned defender and Arnab who had played a stellar role in India’s 4-1 win over Puerto Rico last September further added: “With every match you learn something and that helps you grow as a player. There is still a long way to go for Indian football but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple step.”
(Report & Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)