Shaan Hundal has been a very popular figure in world football right now, where he’s making a name for himself at such a young age. He’s considered to be one for the future because of the quality he has got. He is for sure one of the most complete young players you’ll see currently.
But, what makes him even more popular in India, is that he is an Indian origin player and maybe he’ll play in for the national team in the coming years.
Shaan has played for some of the biggest clubs in Canada where he started off his youth career at Brampton Youth Soccer Club, then moved to Toronto FC, then went to Ottawa Fury on loan and, then he finally signed for Valour FC.
Shaan has also played for the under 18 and under 20 Canada national team and he managed to score 2 goals in 6 appearances for the Canada under 20 team, which made him a very popular young figure in Canada.
We recently got the opportunity to interview Shaan to know more about him and it was a a pleasure for us to do it.
Here is what the man himself has to say:
Q. Why do you think there aren’t many Indian players paying around the world in the top tier leagues of the world?
I think I was brought up in a country where everyone absolutely loved football and the football system in North America has been expanding rapidly which is obviously really good, but the current top tier league in India has just recently formed and the game in India is a lot behind when it’s compared to North America. It’s a very slow start for India and I think that’s the reason why many Indian players aren’t getting the opportunity to go abroad and play in some leagues.
Q. What were the challenges that you faced while you dreamed of becoming a professional footballer one day?
When I was a kid, I had to be very self-independent because nobody in my family played any sport very seriously or nobody tried to take any sport as a full-time career so I always had been very self-independent and obviously as an Indian it was a bit difficult for me to adapt the style of play of Canada.
Q. What role does a club in Canada play for a development of a player?
I think they play a very big role when it comes to the development of a player at a very young age. They’ll properly groom every player to play at the highest level possible.
Q. Have you ever got a chance to check out the top teir league of India?
Yes, I follow the Indian Super League and I also have some friends playing there like Shubham Sarangi. We talk about the Indian Super League, I think it’s a really interesting league which is helping Indian football grow very rapidly.
Q. What’s the difference in the playing system of Canada when compared to India?
I think in Canada it’s a lot more physical than India. In the Canada top tier league, most of the players are from North America whereas in India players come from all over the world.
Q. You must have heard about Sunil Chhetri, so what do you think about him?
I think Sunil Chhetri is a legend. He has surely made a name for himself but most importantly he has made a name for India as well. He has shown everyone what India can do and he has obviously made all the Indians proud. Everyone in North America knows Sunil Chhetri and he’s a legend here as well.
Q. Have you ever considered to play in ISL?
Yes, I’ve thought about it a lot of times. I really consider the ISL a very competitive league. I would really love to come to India and play in it’s top tier league.
Q. If you get a chance to play for India in the future under better circumstances, then would you accept the offer?
I would definitely think about it. I have always thought about playing for India as I’ve many friends there so I automatically have a bit of connection there. Obviously, if they offer me then I would definitely consider the offer.
Q. You were the one of the few players to sign for Toronto FC reserved team from their academy so how were feeling that time?
It was a great feeling to be very honest. I didn’t think about it a lot until the offer actually came to me. As a player, I always tried to push myself and work hard every day and that’s how I earned a spot in Toronto FC.
Q. Apart from football what are the other sports that you follow and love?
I follow a little bit of basketball and I also love to play it when I’m free.
Q. This is a very serious topic, but does racism really exists in Canada and have you been a victim of it as an Indian origin player?
No, I haven’t ever been a victim of it, to be honest, and honestly, I don’t think racism really exists in Canada. Everyone here is really treated normally on and off the pitch as well.
Q. You’ve recently signed for a new club as well so how are you planning to contribute to them?
I’m planning to score a lot of goals for my new team. I think a lot of people think that we aren’t a very competitive side so I want to score goals, help my team to win matches, and prove those people that we are really good and can trash any team.
Q. How do you think your emergence can help Indian kids to make their way to big foreign clubs?
I think they should focus on getting into ISL clubs first and make a name for themselves. I find that tournament really competitive and also think they give young players a platform to showcase their talent. If players play well in foreign clubs like Bayern Munich then they’ll obviously make a name for themselves but I think Indian clubs also do have that quality to do the same with young Indian talented players.
Q. What message would you like to give to all the young talents out there, who dream to play for a big club and also the national team?
Just believe in yourself and you’ll find a way. This is a message I would like to give to all the young talents out there. There will be someone better than you obviously but you’ve to keep believing in yourself and also keep working hard. Those who work hard never fails.
The whole IFTWC team would like to thank Shaan Hundal for giving us his valuable time and also for making the session so memorable and enjoyable for all of us. We wish him all the very best for his future ventures.
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