The ISL season is coming closer to kick off and today we had the privilege to have a few words with or rather have some of our questions answered by a player who surely wasn’t the easiest to get hold of, given the pace he runs at, our very own ‘Flash’ aka Kumam Udanta Singh.
Udanta Singh is currently 24 years old, and is with his team Bengaluru FC since their inception in 2014. The youngster is highly appreciated by experts and is also highly rated not only by our fans but also by our Legend, Sunil Chhetri. No wonder why we have high hopes from Udanta Singh everytime he steps on the pitch.
We had a few questions for the Indian National Team winger from Manipur, who surely needs no more introduction and here’s what Udanta had to say about the next season, his goals, and more.
When asked about what changes we could see in Udanta Singh, when football resumes as compared to pre-pandemic he said that, “We have had a fairly long off-season because of the pandemic but I’ve used the time to keep myself fit. It’s been two weeks since we started our pre-season and it does feel good to get back on a football pitch with my teammates. I have just been working harder and intend to keep doing just that through the pre-season and carry the same habits into the season.”
We’re almost close to kick off for next season, and hence everyone of us are really keen to know our players’ plans and targets for the next season. “I haven’t set any number-specific targets, but I definitely want to do better than I did last season – both, on a personal front and when it comes to contributing to the team,” is what Udanta said about his next season’s targets.
Next up there was something, which probably, is in the minds of numerous Indian Football fans and critics. There has been much talks about Udanta Singh lately, but what we wanted to know is how he deals with those and what does he think is going wrong.
Udanta replied saying, “I just have to keep my head down and keep working harder. The effort is always to work on my shortcomings and see how can I keep getting better”, which could probably be the best answer to the question from a youngster, who somewhere inside his mind kept the lines, that he would rather answer a lot of such questions on the field, in coming seasons.
Many of us wouldn’t be aware but Udanta was the top scorer for TFA in the Junior I-League. But, Nowadays we see him more as a creator with those sprints down the right hand side of the field. We wanted to know, if we can see Udanta scoring more in near future, to which he replied saying, “I am happy with whatever role the coach designs for me. My work on the right also involves tracking back to defend regularly. At the end of the day, if I have contributed to the team’s success then the role I am given does not matter at all.” A team player indeed, and Bengaluru fans would be happy to have such a great player representing their side.
We also wanted to know about how he feels about his team, Bengaluru FC and how has it impacted him as a player. “This is my seventh season with the club and that should tell you what the club means to me. I have completely enjoyed my time and growth as a player and as a person at the club, and continue doing so. The atmosphere at the club is very special and even players who have been a part of it and have left will tell you the same. I have also had the good fortune of playing under some fantastic coaches and some inspirational teammates,” said Udanta.
But, as Indian Football is progressing day by day, we all know the number of talented wingers that are coming up every year and showing their quality on the field leading to the competition increasing on the wing position day by day. When asked about how does that impact Udanta or his performance, if at all, Udanta said, “It just makes you want to work harder. You always need someone breathing down your neck for your place on the team. The competition we have for places in the squad is healthy and it’s always a good thing.”
Well talking about Udanta Singh, talking about Bengaluru, it’s always unfair if we don’t talk about the Bengaluru FC fans or the West Block Blues who have been backing the blues ever since their very first season in Indian Football. But sadly due to the ongoing pandemic situation, the entire of the next season is probably to be played without any crowds in the stadium. That would surely impact the game, be it to a personal level or the team’s performance, isn’t it? That too, given that the West Block Blues has never disappointed them? Well, Udanta had a better answer as he said, “Of course it will make a big difference, but we are going to have to learn to adapt to the situation. Our fans have been our strength in a very big way and we will miss their presence and energy for sure. But we will want to do them proud every time we step on the pitch,” and many Bengaluru fans should already be counting days for another probable successful season which has now become a habit for Udanta and his team Bengaluru FC.
We are all excited to know if we can see a talented player like Udanta Singh playing for foreign clubs soon. I mean who wouldn’t like to see the Flash taking over those big foreign defenders. Well let’s hear it from the flash himself. We asked him if there’s any chance that we see him playing in a foreign club sooner or later, but Udanta wasn’t willing to think of other clubs at the moment and replied, “I haven’t thought about it. At the moment, I am a Bengaluru FC player who is preparing to give the team his best ahead of an important season.” Understandable with a club with such immense success and having the Captain, Leader, Legend, Sunil Chhetri playing for their side.
We also asked Udanta about what he thinks might be the reason for him not being able to match his usual high standard of play in the previous season and how he has prepared himself for a strong comeback for the 2020-21 season of the league. Udanta said, “We almost made our third successive final in the ISL and that tells you of the consistency the team has. Yes, we could have done better, but even the best teams go through phases like these. The disappointment of last season has only made us hungrier to do better this season around.”
Lastly, we had a very common question to Udanta which probably would have the same answer if asked to most of the young Indian players. On being asked about which Indian player inspires him the most, Udanta said, “Needless to say, it’s Chhetri bhai (brother). I have had the fortune of sharing the dressing room with him for so many seasons and I have learnt something from him every single day,” as expected.
Well, that’s all we have from the Flash but surely much can be known from those answers about what could possibly be coming next season from Udanta and Bengaluru FC. The young sensation of Bengaluru FC and the Indian national team was calm with his answers just like the calmness before a storm probably giving a hint of what can be expected next season.
But yes, it is good to be grounded, in order to cherish something great and that’s what I would like to say before ending. It was our pleasure and good fortune to have caught the Flash still for a few moments to answer few of our questions.
We from IFTWC, wish Udanta Singh all the very best for the upcoming seasons and hope to talk with him again, soon.