Kolkata: Many Indian stars who earlier played in the I-League but has now shifted base to the much more attractive and entertaining Indian Super League has time and again reinstated the nostalgia about their old clubs and now Robin Singh, who started his senior level football career with Kolkata giants East Bengal in 2010 and then returned to the club for a second stint earlier this year before going ISL franchise ATK, expressed his love for the club and said that it holds a special place in his heart.
“I will miss East Bengal. I have been a part of East Bengal; that was the club that gave me the opportunity to be a professional footballer and I have great memories. Even six months back, I was with East Bengal; it will always be a special place,” said the former Red and Gold Brigade striker.
The 27-year-old is glad to be a part of the ISL champions, but at the same time doesn’t consider I-Legague to be inferior and is ready to play or watch the matches, if an opportunity arises.
“I am a supporter of football. I’m proud to have won the I-League. I’m honoured for the fact that I was part of a team that won the I-League. To sum it up, I’ve grown up. I will make sure to keep my professional standards high. So if I am asked to (watch an I-League match), and if I have the time, why not? My friends play in that league. I would like to go and support them because they have backed me from time to time,” he added.
An entirely new team and set up in ATK has helped him settle better and quickly unlike the past three seasons in Delhi Dynamos (2015) and FC Goa (2016) where he had very little time to adapt and talking of it he said, “Everyone knew they had to adapt. We are now a happy family off the field.”
The best of the former Bengaluru FC striker however is yet to be seen in the ISL, which has put him out of the national radar, but he reckons that this is his opportunity to work hard and catch the coaches’ eye.
“I don’t know what is in the mind of the coach and won’t question him. But this is an opportunity for me to work harder and be there because I want to be back,” he concluded.
Want to win the I-League: Arnab Mondal
Former ATK defender Arnab Mondal, who chose to play for his hometown club East Bengal over the ISL on Wednesday claimed that winning the elusive I-League title was his team’s only aim this season.
“We want to win the Hero I-League. It is as simple as that and it is also my personal target. I want to lift the Hero I-League trophy with Kingfisher East Bengal in my career”, said Arnab. He also added, “Individually, I am hell-bent on winning this trophy. In a sense, this trophy means a lot to me and winning it would mean the world to me.”
Taking one match at a time and at the same time aiming to win all the matches including the away fixtures, is the mantra for this season stated the Red and Gold captain. It will be however challenging he believes and talking about overcoming the challenges he said, “The challenge for us is to outplay them and secure the resullt.”