Odisha FC has certainly stolen the limelight on themselves with their series of transfers back to back in the last month. Odisha have always been impressive in terms of young players in their squad an hence came in the likes of Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Isak Vanlalruatfela and few others.
Today we had the opportunity to have a conversation with one of their best young signings, junior Indian International, who has also been referred to as Indian Neymar in the past, our very own Baoringdao Bodo.
Hailing from Assam, Bodo has already been in the Indian Football circuit for a while now. From Representing India at the U16 level back in 2014 to playing for Chennaiyin FC in the ISL and many other clubs in India, this young lad is a package of raw talent with good experience at this young age.
Let’s have a look at the conversation and know more about Bodo, and some more stuffs about Odisha FC, his former clubs and ofcourse Indian Football.
- A lot of budding footballers struggle to make it to the professional leagues. What was your journey to your first professional match?
My first professional match was a dream come true for me and I felt so happy to have made mydebut at a younger age.All thanks to the coach and club members for the trust and giving me the chance.
- Who were the most important people in your career when helped you reach whre you are today?
My coaches and my family.They trusted me and kept on telling me to never give up.
- You started your career with AIFF elite academy so how have they helped you to develop your game and how do you think they are doing a fantastic job to produce some of the best players in the country?
When I was at theAIFF academy coaches like Gautam sir, Sajid Yousuf, Floyd, all of them helped a lot. AIFF academy was one of the best thingsto have happened and helped me a lot in my football development.Because the training was too good, and our fitness levels was at the peak.Till today, I am following the same routine what I was taught there.
- What is the story behind signing for a top club like Minerva FC? How and when were you approached for a contract?
I was signed for ChennaiyinFC when I was 16 and then I was loaned to Minerva FC. I had a good time there as well.I met new people, made new friends and it was a good moment for my career.It was a pleasure playing for them and helping the team.
- As a person who has played for both India U-16 and U-19, how does it feel representing the country at the age-group competitions. What will be your message to the current U-16 India squad who will be playing the AFC U-16 Championship this year?
It is always a proud moment to represent the nation.My target always has been to play for the country, and I am working hard every day to achieve my dream.U-16 team is very good in their age group, and my best wishes to them. I am confident that they will make it big and make the whole nation proud.
- Your first season in ISL was with Chennaiyin FC and use had played the previous season in the I-League. What major differences did you see in both the competitions?
The difference between ISL and I league for me isn’t huge but everyone knows ISL is well organised and foreign players are of a higher standard, so I try to learn from every opportunity whenever I get to see new things and I feel lucky to see all this and learn from them every day.They have played so much and feel really blessed to share a dressing room with them. They are top professionals.
- You were a part of Chennainyin FC’s title-winning team, so how does it feel to win the silverware at such a young age and what changes have you observed after winning it?
I think, I was the youngest member to win the trophy. It was a great moment for me to hold the trophy. Being part of such moments is what motivates me to do more. I want toplay more matches and work harder each day and give my best for theclub.
- While playing amongst senior players, have you ever felt you were at a disadvantage due to your age? If yes, then in what ways?
I have never felt like that.In a professional football set-up, the age is never a barrier.Coaches tell us to be patient and wait for your time. Everyone hassupported me.
- How were the playing styles at both the Kerala clubs you had played for any different?
In Kerala blasters I had a good time and played a few matches. I don’t see anything different.It all depends on the coach, what his plans are and how he wants to play. When I was in Blasters, coach Nelo came in and he liked more aggressive and attacking football.In Gokulam, Bino was the coach so he preferred more direct football so I respect both the coaches professionally
- Tell us about some fun incidences which took place while you were playing for Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC.
Haha, there are no fun incidents that I can remember. I enjoyed playing for both clubs and have fond memories.
- You’ve played for two of the biggest clubs in Kerala ie. Gokulam and Blasters so how would describe the fans there and will you ever go back to Kerala if you get a chance?
It is always a different kind of feeling when you play in Kerala either forBlasters or Gokulam.Fans are always crazy there and as far as I can say in India, they are the loudest.For now, I’m focused on my current stint.
- Were you ever disappointed that you’ve been able to play at the top tier of Indian football? Or did it not bother you as you had other footballing factors in mind?
I was never disappointed.All I want is to play football, enjoy the moment and try to become a better player every day by working hard.
- So you’ve also played in some local league held in your hometown, so how do you think they are playing a vital role in giving chances to young and unknown quality players.
I have played in local leaguessince I was 14.In my state Assam, local leagues are not doing well like the other states for example, Mizoram.So, I want my state Assam to organize a league properly, so that we can see more players coming up from a young age.
- You’ve joined OFC ahead of the next season, so what are your expectations from the club and how are looking forward to the contribution to the club?
I am very happy that I was ableto join OFC. I want to make them proud by giving my best, working hard and help the team to lift the trophy.
- How were you feeling when Odisha FC contacted you for a signing? And did you have second thoughts before signing for them?
I was excited when I heard they are interested in me.I saw that they give young players so many chances, why should I say no. I thought let’s just sign it because they’re doing good things for young players.
- Odisha FC has recently appointed a new head coach. What do you think about his style of play and how do you think it matches yours?
I saw his interview and he said, he would love to see us play and especially young players.So, I am motivated and excited to work with him.
- How excited are you to play in front of the Kalinga Brigade in the Kalinga Stadium and probably win the silverware for them?
I am really looking forward to play infront of all the Odisha FC fans and hopefully we will make them proud by giving positive results.
- Now you’ve officially played for 6 separate clubs. How difficult has it been for you to continuously be on the move and constantly adjust to your surroundings?
As a professional we must adjust everywhere according to the situation.Obviously,you know you are a footballer and you always wanted to play.But what I have learnedis to have patience in life.If you are honest and you work hard, time will come.
- What has been your best footballing moment so far?
Winning the ISL was be the best moment for me so far.
- As a footballer, what do you do to cool yourself down before and after a match?
Every playerhas different preparations. I try to relax and keep myselfhappy. Sometimes, I play Fifa on the PS and enjoy.I always try to keep my mind relaxed and think only about football.After every match, we do our normal recovery with the team and then get some good sleep.
- What will be your goal for the next season and how do you think you can improve yourself, looking at your past performances.
My next goal will be trying to get as much as game time that I can try andimprove myself to become a better player and thentake my game to the next level.
- Your message for the young stars who are ready to make there mark in football
Just work hard and be serious in life with what you are doing. Keepup the same level of passion always and work hard, your time will surely come.
At the end of our conversation we also had few fun rapid fire questions for Bodo, and here’s what he answered:
Pes OR Fifa – Fifa
Messi OR Ronaldo – Ronaldo
Playing as-Striker OR winger – Winger
Fav player all time – Neymar
Fav Indian player – Sunil Chettri
Well, That’s all from Baoringdao Bodo’s side in this interview, and the rest he will be surely talking with his feet, on field next season. It was out pleasure to have you for the conversation.
We from IFTWC-Techtro, wish you all the very best for the upcoming season and your career. We are waiting to see your fireworks in the Hero Indian Super League next season, wearing the Odisha FC colours. Wish you lots of happiness and success at both Club and National Levels. Thank you.