The shot-stopper is the latest prodigy to emerge from the United Sports Club.

United Sports for long been the talent factory of Football in Bengal. In recent times they produced decent talents like Subrata Murmu among others. Raja Burman is one of the young talented goalkeepers plying his trade in Kolkata Maidan. His excellent goalkeeping skills helped United Sports to the semifinals of CFL 2021. He was also part of the Bengal side that finished as runners up in the recently concluded Santosh Trophy.

Khel Now interacted with the young goalkeeper on his promising career, ambitions and more.

The start of his football journey

Burman started early at the age of eight. Born in a middle-class family in Siliguri, his parents were adamant that he study hard and secures a job. But “I was successful in convincing them that one day I’ll become a good player.” The 21-year-old recalls his early days – “I used to play football in my locality. I was admitted to the Winners football coaching camp and from there selected for SAI Academy. My football career started there.”

He has represented ATK youth teams and DSK Shivajians in his early days. Burman calls himself lucky to have made it to professional football having come from a place that has many talents but few platforms. “In North Bengal, there are lots of talented players but we don’t have the platform to show our talents,” he says.

Influence of Nabab Bhattacharya in his football career

United Sports Club director Nabab Bhattacharya has played a big role in the football career of Raja Burman. A friend to many young talents that he has nurtured at the club, Nabab has been a guide to young Raja. “He is a person who always motivates the players and acts as their friend philosopher and guide,” said the goalkeeper.

Bengal’s Santosh Trophy campaign

Burman was part of the Bengal squad that came runner-up in the Santosh Trophy 2022. They lost the final to Kerala on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time. Burman was effusing praises about the squad and head coach Ranjan Bhattacharya.

“Ranjan sir always motivated us by saying that our goal is to become champions. It was a huge experience for me. This was my first Santosh trophy campaign and a big learning experience. We were just like a family.”

Role of IFA in supporting Bengal football

IFA in recent times has taken huge steps in popularising football in Bengal. They have done a lot of work in talent hunt from untrodden parts of Bengal especially North Bengal. On this Raja Burman commented “ IFA has always helped us in whatever way they can. Especially I want to thank Joydeep Mukherjee sir who always supported us and made our Santosh trophy journey memorable.”

Aim this season

After a decent Santosh Trophy campaign, Burman is looking forward to winning some titles. “My aim is to win more titles. I want to win all the tournaments and achieve more things. Of course, the goal is to play in the ISL and the Indian football team in the long run.”

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