Back in 2011, a skinny defender led a Kodalia-based (a suburban area near Kolkata) school in Subroto Cup -- the pan-India school football tournament. Fast forward to 2018, the grown-up promising defender is on the brink of the leading the National Team in India’s opener in the SAFF Suzuki Cup.
"I clearly remember the day. I was in class 11 and led our school (Kodalia Prasanna Banga High School) in the Subroto Cup. At that time, little could I imagine that I would be leading my Country in seven years’ time,” an emotional Subhashish Bose revealed in an exclusive chat with www.the-aiff.com
On being asked what struck him first when the coach informed, Bose said he went "speechless."
"I was caught completely off guard and once our coach informed me I was speechless. I have always tried my level best to deliver on the ground. Now, a fair share of responsibility adds to that. I'm ready for that too,” he uttered.
Understandably there’s a fair deal of excitement back home and Subhashish’s mother, though elated, is cautious that the road will be “steeper from here.”
"Subha konodin National Team'er captain hobe amra vabtei parini. Kintu ekhono onek rasta, r okei sei pothcholte hobe. Samner poth aro kothin and oke sudhu nijer kaj kore jete hobe,” she stated. (We never thought in our wildest dream that Subhasish would ever lead the Indian National Team. It's just the start of the journey and there’s a long path to be travelled. The road will be steeper ahead and he has to stay grounded and continue doing his work).
Subhashish mentioned that a skipper's job is far more than flipping the coin and leading the team out of the tunnel. “The armband entrusts the person with loads of responsibility on and off the field.”
"A skipper defines the entire team on as well as off-the-field. Controlling the team, looking after my teammates are the responsibilities of the Captain along with carrying out the role of a perfect bridge between the coach and the entire team. On the field, he is the eyes and ears of the coach and I feel there lies the greatest challenge of the skipper,” he pronounced.
"Everything is destined to happen in its own time. I have always tried to follow Sunil-bhai to learn every single aspect of the game -- be it to improvise in a better way to garner the results as well as to keep the team as a well-knit family.”
India have always been the favourites prior to any SAFF Championship and the newly-appointed skipper shared the "team is confident to put up a good show" in Dhaka.
"Our preparation has been pretty well and the atmosphere in the dressing room is absolutely amazing. Everyone is rearing to give it a shot and if we execute the plans accordingly, we stand a decent chance to retain the trophy,” Bose sounded confident.
The squad flaunts a tall defending quadruple comprising of Sarthak Golui, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sajid Dhot and none but the skipper himself who believes the communication amongst them is going to be the key behind the team's success.
"The more we communicate, the better for us. We need to be on the same page in terms of the taking the challenge to the opponent. Defence is the first line of offence and we can't leave any leak in our defensive line to let a goal in,” he added. "Our average height is good and we have a good command in the aerial balls. We are confident and are in a good shape to accomplish the goal."