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Gruelling practice sessions, followed by extensive analysis, have been the order of the day for the IIT Kanpur boys’ football team for quite some time now.
With runner-up finish at the recently concluded Inter IIT Tourney, the focus has now turned to forthcoming challenges, familiarising themselves with the opposition while focusing on their own gameplay has never been more important. Saurav Krishna, the team captain, gave an illuminating talk about his team’s experience so far.
Tell us little bit about your team and which sport has been more dominant/played at your college?
I think I should start by telling some of the most important personals in our team, rather than listing out every single member because the list would be too long. Mainak Majumdar is our goal keeper and he would be one of best keepers among all the IITs, then we have Kisalaya Mishra in defense who is our ex- captain, then Deepankar Srivastava in the midfield, myself and Pankaj Rawat in the wing and Mohd Asad in the forward line. I think every sport is pursued in our college, the level attained may vary though. I think we have a good football team this time around, albeit some of very influential seniors passed out. One or two freshers also helped the cause.
Which football club playing style your coach often asks your team adapt/play like? Why?
Our coach Sunil Kumar does not ask us to follow any particular team per se. Till last year we played a bit defensively, but this year we have changed our style of play and have become a better attacking side than the previous year.
What’s the best match that your team ever played?
The best match we ever played would be the Udghosh final against DTU last year. They were a tough side to beat, but we came out as winners in the penalties.
What are three reasons you like being part of a team sport?
I loved football ever since, I was a child, I think that is more than a good enough reason to pursue football here in college. Although as a consequence, it has helped me become a better leader as well a team player.
Which football club has more followers amongst your team?
I don't think there is any club which has a dominant fan base in our team, there are guys who support the big guns like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool etc..then there are guys like me and Kisalaya who are neutral in that sense.
Does your team have any favorite song to listen to prior to the game kickoff?
We certainly don't collectively have a favorite song that we listen to before matches, although it is possible that some of the guys might have their individual favorite songs that they listen to.
What is the one most important tournament that you should win? And why?
There are many tournaments that we play yearly, like Udghosh, Kanpur league, Spardha (IIT BHU’s sport’s fest), but certainly Inter IIT sports meet (IISM) is the most important tournament for us.
What have you learned about teamwork from being on this team? How does the team make you a better player?
After becoming the captain of this team this year, I have to say it has really changed me as a person. I have started worrying about others’ performances, their injuries, their ACADS and everything. Though I'm not a natural leader, being a captain has certainly helped me improve on that.
Pick one – would you rather play an amazing game but lose or play an average game and win?
If I had to answer this last year, I would have picked play amazing but lose. But having lost in the semis of Inter IITs last year against IIT BHU, I can say nothing could ever replace the joy of winning, so any day I would pick winning. Actually the motto of our team is "Anyhow win the match..by one goal..!"
Which college is your biggest rival team and do you have any memorable moment against them? If yes, explain.
IIT Roorkee has always been our biggest rivals, because of the long history we shared. It does certainly bring joy to say that we are unbeaten against them in the previous 3 outings.
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