Born with the name of the God of cricket, the almighty had other plans for the young Sachin Suresh from Kerala. Having roots from a footballing family, Sachin’s main aim in life is to uplift the legacy of his father Suresh A.M., who was a former goalkeeper. The 20-year-old has already caught the attention of the Yellow Army by an amazing stint of performances in the previous edition of the Kerala Premier League. He was part of the historic team that beat the Argentina U-20 national team. Most remarkably he was one of the most lethal weapons of T.G. Purushothaman for the Kerala Blasters F.C. reserve sides and this young prospect is eyeing to break into the senior team soon.
We caught up with Sachin Suresh to know about his journey so far and about his future plans. Here is our exclusive interview with the promising custodian from Kerala, and his answers are as follows.
When did you decide to be a professional player? Can you walk us through your early
“My footballing career started with Sports and Education Promotion Trust (SEPT) Academy in Kerala at the age of eight. I continued training with the academy and represented them in Dubai Super Cup at the age of eleven. From there, I became a regular starter for the district team of Thrissur and featured the team in U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16 age groups, and senior levels as well. I also represented Kerala in U-14, U-16, U-18 age categories and had the honour to guard the woodworks in the most prestigious tournament of the state – the Santhosh Trophy. I had the honour to wear the national colours at the age of 16 in the U-16 AFC Festival of Football which was held in Tajikistan and also earned a spot to represent the nation in the U-19 Cotif Cup held in Spain. At the club level, I had played for FC Kerala U-18 team and their senior team as well.”
Who inspired you to be a goalkeeper?
“My father inspired me to become a goalkeeper. It was his dream to make me a professional goalkeeper. For achieving that dream, he helped me and inspired me a lot in my career at all levels.”
You were a part of the U-20 team that defeated Argentina U-20. Can you share your experience on that historical day?
“It was a fantastic moment in my footballing career when we won against Argentina in the Cotif Cup and remarkably was a great moment for Indian football to beat the much-decorated Argentine national team. After the match, I felt so happy to be a part of this historical team. In overall, it was a great experience for me.”
What was the reason you choose to sign for Kerala Blasters FC?
“It was my dream to play for our home team Kerala Blasters FC as it’s the dream of every footballer in the state. When I got the offer from Kerala Blasters FC I was so happy and excited. Kerala Blasters FC have always had a place in my heart and that’s the sole reason behind my decision to sign for this prestigious club.”
You had a fantastic season in KPL this season. What are your thoughts on KPL, and can you rate your experience?
“It was a great KPL season for me because it was my first tournament for Kerala Blasters FC. I was so happy to play for Kerala Blasters FC. It gave me a lot of experience. It helped me improve my performance and it was a great tournament for me. I tried to perform at my level best and tried to give my best for the team. Being my debut tournament for Kerala Blasters FC, I had earned a lot of experience guarding the bars. The match experience helped me in enhancing my performance and overall it was a great tournament for me. But from the team’s point of view, it wasn’t a great season, we were champions last year but unfortunately, we couldn’t win the tournament this season. We tried our best but somehow we couldn’t achieve it.”
You played under Coach T.G. Purushothaman in both FC Kerala and Kerala Blasters FC. How would you differentiate the atmosphere in both the dressing rooms? And can you tell us about your experience working with the coach?
“Yeah, I had the opportunity to play under him both at FC Kerala and Kerala Blasters FC. The factor which differentiates both the club’s is the way the dressing room atmosphere was set up. In FC Kerala most of the players come from their homes directly to the field but in Kerala Blasters FC, things were entirely different. Here, all the players stayed together at the camp having a good interpersonal relationship with each other and the dressing room is also considerably lively. In addition, I’m so happy to play under our coach because he helps us a lot on and off the pitch, it’s a great pleasure working under him.”
Coach T.G. Purushothaman mentioned that his style of play is not result-oriented but is oriented towards the development of the players. What are the positives you can take from this approach?
“Yeah, I have a positive impression towards his style because in reserve teams they mainly focus on helping and developing young players to improve themselves and help them earn promotion to the senior team. So in this way, the Purushothaman coach’s playing style is very good and it being a possession-based football, helps players to improve in both technical and tactical side. It’s a great playing style for youth development.”
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