The Minerva Punjab youth product has played 15 times for the Gaurs, scoring two goals.
It has been gradual a rise to Indian footballing stardom for Manvir Singh, who is plying his trade for high-flying ISL club FC Goa. The 23-year-old from Punjab is currently going through an upward path in terms of his career. After scoring three goals for India in the recently concluded SAFF Suzuki Cup, the forward has become somewhat of a household name.
Khel Now got the opportunity to interview the former Minerva Punjab youth product. Here are the excerpts:
Q1: Few things matter more to an Indian sportsman than beating Pakistan. How did you feel after the famous win in the recently concluded SAFF Suzuki Cup?
A: No doubt there were a lot of emotions involved, whenever India plays Pakistan. But, we kept ourselves calm and took it as just another game. We did not let emotions get the better of us. We were thrilled after the game. The team played really well to come out as winners of that match.
Q2: You have worked hard to be where you are today. What motivated you to keep going all these years?
A: My love for the game. I love playing football. Playing football motivates me. Also, I would really like to thank my coaches who believe in me and keep pushing me to perform better. My father always tells me one thing, if you really want to achieve something you work for it and still if you don’t get it, work harder.
Q3: How does it feel to be working under Stephen Constantine? What have you learned from him?
A: Coach Constantine brings the best out of all the players. There is no room for being lethargic. Everyone needs to give their 100%. He believes in his players.
Q4: Indian football is currently seeing a revival in terms of players from Punjab. What has changed in the state’s football?
A: I think a lot of credit goes to the senior players who come from small towns in Punjab and are playing at the top level. Players like Balwant (Singh) paaji, Anwar (Ali) paaji, Gurvinder (Singh) paaji. They have given hope to the young generation of players, that if you work hard you can achieve your dreams. Also, I would give a lot of credit to the current I-League champions Minerva Punjab who have been instrumental in reviving football in the state.
Q5: Mohammedan SC to FC Goa, how has the journey been?
A: It has been a great learning experience. This would not have been possible without the support of my coaches and my teammates. I have learnt a lot under each coach I played under.
Q6: How DID winning the IFA Shield changed your footballing career?
A: Santosh Trophy gave me a platform to showcase myself and that’s where Derrick (Pereira) sir saw me playing and he offered me a contract for FC Goa. Later, I was also called for the senior national team camp.
Q7: Do you see the departure of Manuel Lanzarote as an opportunity to take more responsibility at FC Goa?
A: Lanzarote is a really good player. His departure certainly leaves a big void to fill. I will always try my best to help my team and help my coach in whatever way I can.