Devansh Dabas was signed by Chennaiyin FC for the ISL 2021-22 season. The 20-year-old hails from Muzzafarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. IFTWC, in an exclusive interview, spoke with Devansh on his footballing journey so far and his current stint with Chennaiyin FC.
How do you rate you experience so far being a part of an ISL team?
It has been a good experience. I feel my game has been improving. Everything is going well and I feel happy here
You share the dressing room with some very experienced professionals of the game. What is it that you can learn from them?
I have the feeling of a family in the dressing room. The seniors are always giving me tips on how I can improve my game and how I can do better. The overall experience has been very good and enriching.
As a kid, how did you start playing football and when did you decide that you wanted to be a goalkeeper?
I come from a humble background. The village I belong to is very remote. I had an interest to just play not just football but any other game. I wanted to do something in sports. I pushed my parents to get me admitted into the best school of my village. There was one coach, Rohin kumar who took me and told me to try football as he felt I could be something. I did not have any particular intention of play football, but you never know where life takes you. The coach saw me and then he recommended to try as goalkeeper. I did not have any aim to play a particular position to play but to play and to give my 100%, and the position of Goalkeeper was written in my stars.
What is your take on Bozidar Bandovic’s style of play and philosophy?
The style of play very good. The coach has a good strategy in place. I have liked the way he has trained us to follow that strategy and style of play and has helped us on and off the field.
As a youngster you spent a lot of time with Minerva Punjab, how important has Minerva Punjab been for your development as a footballer?
Minerva Punjab has been a very important part of my life. When I did not have a club, Minerva Punjab took me in. Ranjit Bajaj took me in and helped me and asked me to stay. They are the ones who pushed me to be better and made me a professional. Then I made the move to Roundglass, who also have been very supportive.
What other leagues do you follow, and which is your favorite club?
I follow EPL and I like Manchester City
Who is the one Indian and foreign goalkeeper that you look up to?
I look up to Ederson of Manchester City and in India I look up to Gurpreet Paaji.
What is your take on bio bubbles? Does bio-bubble have any effect on your game?
It’s not easy to be in a bio-bubble. However, you get used to it after a point of time. A feeling of togetherness and family arises in players. Our bonding becomes better when we are in a bio-bubble. In my opinion, we need to experience all this, so that we take care of ourselves better. Being in bio-bubble also helps us understand our teammates better
How do you deal with the pressure of playing in such a competitive league with a huge fan following?
We do not think of pressure much. We just want to give our 100% when we play and show what we can do and how we can perform.
Football matches in the country have been played without fans. As a player you don’t get that extra push which fans give. What’s your take on that?
Fans affect us players a lot. Without fans, we do not get that push and without fans it’s like being without a family member. We miss them on the field, and they are a huge support system for us.
What is your message for Chennaiyin FC fans?
We will give our 100% for all our matches. We miss you and we hope to see you soon in the stadium. Your support means everything to us and keep supporting.
Devansh has definitely made most of the opportunities that have come his way and caught the eye of coaches. The 20-year-old has a crucial season ahead of him. He would be looking to impress and showcase his skills whenever the opportunity presents itself for him. The youngster is definitely a one for the future.
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