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Iran will certainly be the toughest in the AFC U-16 Championships- Manish Chaudhury

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Every story has a hero. But in Manish Chaudhury’s case, it’s a heroine.

For India U-16 National team defender Manish Chaudhury hailing from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, his first step into Football wasn’t a cakewalk. “There wasn’t any support from my family at all. My father didn’t want me to pursue sport, that too Football. But I wanted to,” he murmurs.

“But it was my mother who supported me. She motivated me. She encouraged me to do what I love,” he smiles. “She was very supportive. Unless she stood by me during those days, I wouldn’t have been here,” he clutches his India T’Shirt.

“She looked after me like any mother will do and went all out to ensure I chased my dream. She was the first one who helped me with my diet,” he recollects. “She will always be my heroine.”

“Tu Khel beta, lekin jaan laaga ke khel. Koi jagah nahi chorna,” (You play and play with all your heart. Don’t compromise),” she used to tell me every day.


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Manish stays some less than two weeks away from representing India in the AFC U-16 Championship Malaysia 2018. “We understand it’s a huge tournament for us,” he nods.

But he prefers to go back to his struggle days. “When I got selected for India, it was an emotional moment for everyone in my family, especially for my mom. That was the moment when my dad realised that I never cheated on Football. Today, he proudly tells all ‘Mera beta India khelta hai’ (My son plays for India).

“Those early days provide me inspiration. Today whatever I have achieved is due to the guidance and coaching at the AIFF Academy and by perseverance during those days,” he maintains.

“I am a defender and the entire teams wants to keep clean sheets whenever we play. It is very important. If we do not concede, we do not lose. If we do not lose, we can aim to win,” he asserts.

“Every team will be tough. Iran will certainly be the toughest. We are going there to win. But at the same time all other teams are also aiming to win. It’s a Continental Championship and we are ready.”

Published: Tue Sep 11, 2018 02:12 PM IST

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