Every State Football Association is a pillar of the big structure of Indian Football and Indian Football will succeed and achieve wonders when all those pillars rise up and work together for the development of Indian Football.
To much happiness today we had the privilege to talk with the General Secretary of one of the State Football Associations of India. The General Secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Football Association (HPFA), Mr. Deepak Sharma.
Here’s what he had to say about the Footballing scenario in Himachal Pradesh and all what’s going on in Himachal Football and what we could expect from them in near future.
Q1. How do you keep yourself so much connected to Football? What is the secret behind it?
Ans: First of all I would like to say that, when you do something you must be fully dedicated towards it. For me you can say that football was probably in my blood, because my Father used to play football too, and that addiction and attraction towards football is probably the reason why I am working here. But, I would also add that, I am a General secretary later but first and foremost a crazy Football lover.
Q2. We know that you were a footballer as well, formerly. So please say us about your playing career.
Ans: First of all as I said I got this from my parents. I started playing football from School level and then played for my college in inter-university matches and then later on also played the junior and sub-juniors in Santosh Trophy. I played 4 times in Santosh Trophy. There was no ILeague ISL in our time, so there wasn’t much opportunity to play in clubs then. But yes, I’ve been into Football since my school days.
Q3. Take us through your journey from being a player to now being the General Secretary of HPFA.
Ans :I had never thought that I would reach this post someday and neither had I ever planned to work in this post. We were never much rich or had any such advantages that I could become a GS in such a way. I was a player and have stayed the same way. The one thing I understood is that one should do his work with dedication and in a fair manner and that’s what I have been doing and here I am the general secretary of Himachal Pradesh football association.
Q4. Along with being a general secretary we have seen and heard that you were into coaching as well. So which was your first club as a coach and what and how how was the experience.
Ans: A private school named Adarsh Vidya niketan, was the first team I coached. The team ranked first in Himachal Pradesh under my coaching for the first time and that feeling was really wonderful.
Q 5. How do you bring the Girls in Football?
Ans: You can say that in the area where I am working men’s football is mostly highlighted. It was very difficult for the girls to play there. So, when I joined work I thought of starting something new. There are very less districts in Himachal where women’s football is popular. So I first started it in a small village in Himachal. It was such a place that bringing girls to the field in shorts turned out to be our primary obstacle. It was difficult to start but with a new initiative we started working on women’s football and now we have good talented girls playing out here. I am thankful to their parents who came up open minded and helped us in our initiative and allowed their children to come to the field to get exposure and showcase their talents.
Q6. Yours greatest achievement ever in Football?
Ans: Women’s football coming up from Himachal is of course one of the greatest achievements for me. Also Vishal Kaith coming up as such a great goalkeeper and performing in the international level, from Himachal Pradesh is no doubt a very big achievement it for us and I wish him all the very best for his future and I wish that he makes Himachal more and more proud. Also there has been many good footballers coming off from Himachal Pradesh and we will continue doing the same and look forward to bring up more and more great footballers to the big stage.
Q7. Is discipline is necessary in Football?
Ans: Not only football but without discipline one would not be able to play any sports. I believe football is a completely different aspect though. We do most of the works in our daily lives with our hands while football is something we play a with our feet, and we need to decide in a fraction of second about what to do and where to pass the ball. So football is something totally different from other activities we do. Along with being discipline they need to be intelligent as well. But if someone isn’t disciplined then it is really tough for a team to perform well. Now a days most of the footballers try to be disciplined though, because football is also a profession now and in that way it is a good thing.
Q8. What is your Next year expectation with the Senior national Men’s Team do u think they will qualify this year?
Ans: We have done good planning as it was last year as well. All the coaches and players are working really hard this time. But as you know in 2020 the covid-19 surely has a big impact on the preparations not only for us but all over the world. I don’t know no when this year’s Santosh trophy will take place but I believe we will perform well. I really wish that things get better soon. Right now we are continuing with the coaching and planning through online webinars, with all the players and the entire team and are trying to prepare them theoretically. I believe when they will finally be back on the ground, our coaches will surely take good care of them and manage everything well.
Q9. If you want to become a politician what would you like to do for Sports?
Ans: First of all I would like to say I am not really been or will be into politics much. I would say if politicians would understand and think about the players then it would be a really good thing. So, by God’s grace if I am given such an opportunity, I would ensure that players are not into much struggle and will try to to help them in every possible way and maybe more too, but actually to be honest I have never thought about this.
Q10. What you think how professional football comes to Himachal?
Ans: I think this is a really good and important question. I have also been facing difficulties in this thing. First of all the mentality needs to be changed. A player also needs money to play properly, so that he can eat, stay fit and healthy and perform on the pitch. If a player cannot have proper food and health, then he cannot be expected to perform. So money is important. Players from outside will come, we will also have to go outside, and then we can probably develop professional football. I think a lot of changes have already come and in coming future other people will also understand this thing.
Q11. What are the objects lacking football in Himachal and What is biggest dream to achieve in Football & what would you expect in Future?
Ans: What I think is lacking is, firstly infrastructure, and also the second thing which you can say is I have a wish that we have a team in both ILeague and the Indian Women’s League, because till now there has been no club in the ILeague from Himachal Pradesh and I really believe we will get a team into ILeague in the coming 2-3 year, and that day, a really big dream of mine will come true.
Q12. What would you feel about the Football atmosphere & Infrastructure of Himachal?
Ans: If you say about popularity then you can say eh that Himachal football has been much popular in the state, and even more than cricket in many places and is played in almost every e district and villages. And about infrastructure, I am really worried about it, and I request to the government and social service organizations for it because the infrastructure we have is not of that level which it should be. And support from government it is really important in this, because we don’t have any such grounds here except 1, which is not multi purpose and solely for football. I want and wish that we can have such a level of infrastructure that we can even organize international level tournaments in Himachal Pradesh.
A Message to Himachal football players or any football players as a coach or as HPFA secretary??
I would like to say a everyone that play football with your heart and with dedication and not for certificates. Certificates are important but if you play, play for your state and play for your passion, so that represent the state and and be known all around in the state and country, and make us all proud.
We would like to Thank You for sparing your valuable time and giving us the opportunity to talk with you and know much about Football in Himachal Pradesh, and lot more. It was a pleasure talking to a great person and a football lover like you.
We wish all the very best to you and Himachal Pradesh Football Association and wish that all your dreams and targets come true and we can see more and more wonderful players in Indian Football, from Himachal Pradesh.