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Family gets him started,passion keeps him there

Football flows in the blood of India U-22 central midfielder Pranoy Haldar.

Written by Siddhartha Sharma | New Delhi | Published: June 14, 2012 1:42:19 am

Football flows in the blood of India U-22 central midfielder Pranoy Haldar. The 19-year old footballer from Kolkata hails from a football background,with his father a full time coach and his elder brother a club level player back home. But even when talent is hereditary,an additional element of passion is needed to groom and raise the level of the sport. Pranoy,thankfully,is blessed with a lot of it. “Since the time I started playing,I play with passion. Football is my love,” said Pranoy,who also plays for Pailan Arrows in the I-league.

Pranoy,unsurprisingly,was acquainted with football since he was a four-year-old, and travels back in time to remember how his father spotted his desire to become a football player early,and encouraged him as a youngster. Pranoy started under his father and remained under his supervision for a considerable period before graduating to the famous Mohun Bagan academy. The early stint with his father saw him playing second division league,which he admits helped him realise better his footballing skill.

“The only thing I remember my father telling me was that I need to put one hundred per cent into the game. I take pride in playing football and over the years,I have reaped rewards for that. Everyone appreciates my effort and the passion with which I take on the field. Sometimes people ask me why I am so passionate about it and I tell them that I want to take my country ahead. To make that possible,dedication and enthusiasm should go hand in hand,” Pranoy explained after the end of AIFF’s training session at the Ambedkar stadium.

Eventually,once he established himself at the Mohun Bagan academy in Kolkata,Pranoy’s next aim was to get through the Tata Football Academy in Jamshedpur and from there into the India’s big league. Year 2009 saw him fulfilling his desire to be a part of India’s kindergarten of football. And his talent also ensured that he was in the India U-19 squad that toured Iraq. At only 19,as he passed out from the TFA 2012 batch,and Pailan Arrows were waiting for him with a contract. “I would say TFA,not only for me but for all footballers is a step ahead. Their attitude in developing footballers is at a different level altogether. The effort put in those four years at the TFA has proved to be the launch pad,” he adds.

But when the moment finally arrived,and he was on the verge on breaking into the Pailan Arrows squad for the I-league,a hamstring injury marred his progress. Pranoy had to endure four months of hardship,sitting on the bench and seeing his fellow players plying the trade. “It was difficult to sit out and see others playing. But I wanted to be safe and nursed my injury properly. It was only during the ending stages that I played three matches in the Arrows campaign. Thankfully,I am a lot fitter now and still keep strengthening my muscles,” Pranoy exclaimed.

Since he is aware that fitness is the mantra for a long career,Pranoy,in an effort to improve his fitness,appreciates the style of AIFF’s Aussie coach Arthur Papas. “His training methods are very effective. He makes us do the drills with football which also helps in improving skill with physical standards. He helps us improve the thinking process which I think is very vital for a footballer,” he said.

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