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Ranjan inches closer to the dream

An ardent East Bengal fan’s dreams of representing the club got a thrust from the just-finished Subroto Cup.

An ardent East Bengal fan’s dreams of representing the club got a thrust from the just-finished Subroto Cup. SAI (Kolkata) midfielder Ranjan Mistry was far from the promise during their final win against Mizoran that earned him the most Promising Player of the Tournament,but he had convinced the selectors long ago.

The 17-year-old’s school boy looks belie the experience of having played professional football — for SAI in the Kolkata first division league — and he is hoping to take the bigger plunge soon.

“Like many players from the academy,I want to play for the big clubs,maybe East Bengal. This award will help me to join their junior team. I can’t think of Mohun Bagan,I’m an East Bengal fan. I will have to wait for another year for my course to get over,” Ranjan told Sportline.

At the moment,all pieces of advice coming from the experts stress on the immediate improvement of physique,and coach PK Bandopadhyay says further negligence may cost him his first big break.

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“Over the last one-and-a-half years Ranjan has been the most important member of the team. His height has improved but there has been no development in his physique. It’s important for coaches to overemphasise this point at times because physical strength is increasingly becoming a basic difference between a good team and a bad team these days. And for Ranjan it has added importance because he’s a midfielder. We’ve noticed this point and will work on it over the next year or so,” Bandopadhyay said.

Tarun Roy,former Delhi footballer and one of the selection panel members of the tournament,had to no head-scratching to do in voting for Ranjan,irrespective of the player not ending on any statistical high.

“Ranjan had a big hand in his team getting the few goals. The key is his position on the ball and off it. Most of SAI’s strikers were struggling to get through and whenever he found a way,they scored. For this age,we focus on the basics and he got most of them correct” Roy said.

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Ranjan is also different from the rest in the way he’s been doing a lot of things. He idolises India right-winger Steven Dias,had his first pair of playing boots in 2002 and isn’t assured of regular meals which forces him to neglect all advices. “My father is a daily labourer,as the surname suggests. When getting full course meals depends on my father’s daily earnings how can I focus on my health?”

First published on: 28-10-2009 at 03:28:39 am
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