He’s very friendly and trusts young players like me a lot, Macarton Louis Nickson on Juan Pedro Benali
Macarton also shared about his days at Indian Arrows.
A 19-year-old gifted midfielder, with experience playing at the different levels of Indian football’s league system at a tender age, whom Naushad Moosa, NorthEast United FC’s assistant coach crowned as ‘technically gifted’, the one who embodies the Highlanders’ philosophy perfectly.
Yes, you have guessed it right. With the second leg of the Indian Super League 2023-24 season coming up, NorthEast United FC and India U-20 midfielder, Macarton Louis Nickson spoke with Khel Now for an exclusive interview.
Starting from his time at Bengaluru to playing in different divisions of Indian football, to the role of Naushad Moosa in his life, Macarton Louis Nickson shared it all.
Best part of Bengaluru U-18 and their Reserve team?
Hailing from the Indian state of Karnataka, Macarton Louis Nickson began his career in the Bengaluru U-18. Macarton shared that the best part of being in Bengaluru was the facilities there. “The best part of Bengaluru FC were their facilities and the coaches. They played a crucial role in my career”, mentioned the 19-year-old-midfielder.
Football culture at Indian Arrows
Macarton set sail for his professional career at the Indian Arrows. According to him, the setup at Indian Arrows was completely different from that of Bengaluru. “The jersey they gave was similar to that of the Indian team. So, whenever I played for Indian Arrows, it felt like I was playing for the country”, Macarton Louis Nickson commented.
Indian Arrows was a team that competed in the I-League. “It helped me to grow. There were all the players of my age. It was a step to improve myself before playing for the national team”, he added.
Playing at different levels
At the tender age of 19, Macarton has already played in various divisions of Indian Football. The experience is quite different at every level but one thing remained constant throughout the whole was the scope to learn and improve.
“At FC Bengaluru United, we played I-League 2nd Division, and the environment there is different. Playing in both the I-League and the I-League 2nd Division helped me a lot. ISL is a new environment for me,” Macarton said.
Naushad Moosa’s role
Since Macarton’s Bengaluru days Naushad has been with him, mentoring his growth on the field. Currently the assistant coach of NorthEast United FC, played a huge part in the Highlanders roping in the dynamic young gun.
“He has been coaching me since my childhood. He has been watching since Bengaluru U-18 or even before that. Naushad has seen through my good times but also through my bad times. He played a huge role in me joining NorthEast United FC. He has played a huge part in my life”, the young gun replied.
Playing under coach Benali
NorthEast United FC announced the one-year contract extension of Juan Pedro Benali, earlier this month. The Highlanders have had a roller-coaster ride under the Spanish tactician this season so far. In Macarton’s words, “He is very demanding on the pitch. He’s very friendly and trusts young players like me a lot. There has always a pressure on us before every game since we are youngsters. But being under him, I feel no pressure at all.”
The Highlanders No.15 said during the chat that he has got role models not one but two. To him, his first role model is his dad who was also a professional and had played for the national team. The second role model to him is Croatia and Real Madrid midfield engine, Luka Modric.
If not football then what else?
Macarton Louis Nickson is an ardent devotee of the game of football. Being born in a family, overwhelmed by this sport, Macarton never had any other plans for his life. “In childhood, I wouldn’t have gone to school but attended the training sessions. In the community where I come from, there’s only football. It has always been football and nothing else”, Macarton Louis Nickson commented.
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