“Anticipating and exploiting as many attacking opportunities as possible as well as being actively involved in both defending and attacking is the role of a midfielder and now I have learnt more about my role as a ‘wide midfielder’ after attending the three-week training programme at the Brockhall-based academy in Lancashire in the UK,” stated Goa’s 17-year-old aspiring footballer, Bipin Mallick while speaking to The Navhind Times.
Returning from his training recently along with six other players who were from Pune to hone their skills at the academy, these players who were picked for the Blackburn Rovers Academy as a part of Roverstar talent identification initiative undertaken by the club owners – Venkateshwar Hatchery Group (Venky’s), Bipin was the only player from Goa to have been lucky to get selected for this programme for his excellent talents.
Hailing from Benaulim and presently studying in Holy Trinity Higher Secondary School after completing his SSC last year in St Aloysius High School where his headmaster Mr Erick gave him a lot of encouragement, Bipin is a naturally player gifted with skills par excellence and given this fact, he is now ready to take football seriously and play for big clubs. He is presently playing for Salgaocar Football Club in the U-18 age group.
Sources in the Salgaocar team said that Bipin is also included in the age group of 19 and 20 as well.
Recently, Mr Venkatesh Rao, managing director of Venky’s had said: “This is a small step in our commitment towards developing football at the grassroot level.”
“This is just a beginning and that he has long term plans to promote the game.”
Bipin informed that Mr David Lowe, the former manager of County Derby team in the UK which beat Manchester United in 2009 is the youth coach of Blackburn Rovers Academy adding further that all of them underwent training programme under the academy coaches in Lancashire, adding further that the players which underwent training also had the chance to interact with the Blackburn FC team players during the clinic and that they watched a couple of Blackburn Rovers home matches which was good for him and his colleague to improve their footballing skills.
Bipin who belongs to a humble but hardworking family at Benaulim stated that he was also helped by Salgaocar Club in meeting some of the expenses and expressed his sincere thanks to the club as well as the main sponsors Venky’s.
A resourceful midfielder and a right wing half, Bipin is quick on the ball and can deceive any player taking him on by his fast moving abilities and perfect control of the ball, though short in stature. He is very hardworking and is eager to make it big in football and now that he has learnt quite a bit at this well known football academy is the UK, surely he has something to offer to his club Salgaocar FC in the junior team. One expects that he will quickly make it to the senior level.
Asked which Club he would like to play as a senior player, Bipin quickly replied that it’s going to be Salgaocar and nobody else adding that the club has helped him financially as well. He disclosed that he was contacted to be trained in Africa as well where Brandon Fernandes is undergoing his training. “Somehow, things did not move as expected and I doesn’t know the reasons quite well,” he stated.
Bipin started playing football at the age of 11 and went on to represent Goa in most age group tournaments. He said that by the time he becomes 20, he hopes to be in the senior team and dreams of representing Salgaocar. [NT]