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The BITS Pilani, Goa – football team has been finding rhythm and playing at a high level in its season.
The team has a good mix of experience and talent, and looking to take full advantage of this during the tournament. The team’s current style of play much resembles fairytale season of Leicester City 2015-16, with focus on quick, direct build-up play during attack and a stubborn, win-at-all-costs mentality during defense. The current year football squad includes Tanay Agrawal, Dhaivat Pandya, Deepanshu Singh, Shivam Jaiswal, Anchal Gupta, Arnav Anand, Saurabh Shetty, Mohit Kedia, Mayank Kulkarni, Ishan Joglekar, Arnav Sailesh, Kshitiz Khosla, Nihar Zanwar, Kesava Garikipati, Rahul Sundareshwaran, Ashwin Saxena, and Aditya Bhatia.
In an interview with Fisto Sports, BITS Pilani football team gave insights on their preparations, accomplishments, style of play, memorable comebacks and more.
Tell us little bit about your team and which sport has been more dominant/played at your college?
The team has a good mix of experience and talent, and we’re looking to take full advantage of this during the tournament. Football has always been very popular here, and many people prefer to follow and play football in their spare time over any other sport.
Which football club playing style your coach often asks your team adapt/play like?
The coach asks us to play to our strengths, and is always looking to maximize our attacking output. He feels that a team is made up of individuals who have their own unique styles of play, and it is better to make them adapt to each other rather than follow any fixed game plan. The team’s current style of play resembles Leicester City 2015-16, with focus on quick, direct build-up play during attack and a stubborn, win-at-all-costs mentality during defence.
What’s the best match that your team ever played?
Our best match would be the RO16 match we played at IIT Roorkee, against IIIT Delhi, who were a very good side and early favourites for the title. A comprehensive 3-0 victory against a team of that caliber really gave us the confidence and momentum to go all the way and lift the trophy.
What are three reasons you like being part of a team sport?
Knowing that a teammate has your back gives you the confidence to pull off skills that you would never have attempted otherwise. Being applauded by your teammates for your effort is one of the most rewarding moments in sport. Also, if you lose, you can always blame the goalkeeper.
Which football club has more followers amongst your team?
Does your team have any favorite song to listen to prior to the game kickoff?
It changes every tournament. The most recent one was Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) by Silento.
What is the one most important tournament that you should win? And why?
The most important tournament to win is our own. The crowd’s disappointment is palpable whenever the home team fails to win, in any sport. Put it simply, we have to win when playing on our own turf.
Has there been a memorable comeback made by your team in any match?
Our team has a strong defense. We try to keep a clean sheet and are not so good at making comebacks. In all the tournament that we have won, we have never conceived a goal before our opponent.
Best and toughest opponent you have played against?
The postgrad team of Jamia Millia Islamia.
What is the one thing your team always does after a good performance?
Play the team song.
What have you learned about teamwork from being on this team? How does the team make you a better player?
There are very few bad passes, and more often just lazy receivers. The team helps us all by pointing out our mistakes, and letting us know what they expected at every point in the game. It is more like a conversation with family, everyone is respectful of each other, but is not afraid to point out their flaws.
Pick one – would you rather play an amazing game but lose or play an average game and win?
Win at all costs. Losing is not in the team’s DNA.
Which college is your biggest rival team and do you have any memorable moment against them? If yes, explain.
We do not have a local rivalry to speak of, as we win all our matches with our quiet neighbours.
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