The defender has been a star performer for both club and country, often leading from the front.

Ever since breaking into the starting XI at Mohun Bagan, Subhasish Bose has established himself as one of the hottest properties in Indian football.

The 23-year-old defender then joined Bengaluru FC, helped them reach the final of the fourth season of the Indian Super League and won the Super Cup. He also helped India win the Intercontinental Cup. Now, he plies his trade for Mumbai City FC. The defender led the Blue Tigers to the final of the SAFF Cup and played an important role in the Asian Cup for India, before bowing out of the competition in the final minutes of the last group game.

Bose put in a decent display for India in the AFC Asian Cup

All of this, in less than a couple of seasons. Not surprisingly, Bose is seen as one of the main protagonists for the promising future of the national team. Indeed, for all his domestic clubs, he’s been a game-changer. Khel Now had the opportunity to have a chat with the Indian international soon after he returned from national duty at the AFC Asian Cup.

The ice-breaker of the conversation had to be the recently-concluded tournament. The Islanders’ full-back reveled in the opportunity he was presented with and the experienced he gained there. He stated, “It was a great experience. It was my first appearance in a tournament as big as the Asian Cup and I relished every moment of it.”

Whilst on the subject, how could one forget the historic second half performance of the team against Thailand in their tournament opener? Subhasish explained how coach Stephen Constantine had motivated the crew and managed to get the best out of them in the final 45 minutes.

“The coach explained to us what needs to be done. He asked us to win the game for the nation. He gave us the confidence and reminded us of all the challenges we had been through to reach the competition. It took us three tough years to reach the tournament and so he asked us to do something so huge that the world remembers us for it,” the defender recalled.

After winning the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai last June, Bose penned a deal with the Islanders. But, things didn’t seem to be going to plan for them after the first few games.

Bose reflected on the initial days under new head coach Jorge Costa by saying, “Every time you join a new team, you will have new players and staff to work with. So, it takes time to gel and settle well. I was lucky enough to have seniors here helping me and other new players as well. The entire team is a new one and we didn’t take much time to get accustomed to playing as a team. The more we played, the more confidence we gained,” he opined.

Mumbai are on a run of nine consecutive games without being defeated, their best in the history of the club. But, after the international break, it would have been a concern for any coach to continue the winning momentum.

“We had a winning streak and good momentum before the international break and now we have played after a long gap. So, we will have to remain focused and try to win all the rest of the games. The primary aim for us was to finish in the top four and play in the final and we have to work now focusing on the same.”


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Constantine gave Bose his first national call-up and made him the captain of the side soon after in the SAFF Cup. Losing a coach who has trusted you is always tough as a player and the case is no different for the defender.

Reflecting on his experience of playing under the former national team tactician he said, “He (Constantine) was always good to me. He handed me my debut and gave me the opportunity to captain the national side. I always liked working with him. On the final day of the Asian Cup, he told us how well we played and that he was happy with our batch and liked us. Then, he informed us that he is resigning.”

Mumbai head coach Costa is a role model for Subhasish. The full-back admires the legend of his coach (a former UEFA Champions League winner with Porto) and wants to learn as much as he can from him, especially with regard to his attitude towards the game.

For Mumbai, the defender has been solid throughout the season

“He (Jorge Costa) himself has been a great disciple of the game and we learn a lot from him. We admire his attitude towards the game a lot and try to learn from it. Jorge himself was a defender and that helps me on a personal level. Working under him has been improving me as a defender and as a player. The team has been performing well under him.”

Bose is a versatile player. He has been played both as a left-back and a centre-back, both in the national team and at Mumbai. Indeed, the defender has no issues playing in either of the two positions and acknowledges the importance of versatility in modern football.

“Its always the decision of the coach. Whichever position he wants me to play, I play in that position. I don’t have any issues playing in more than one position and in modern football, a player should always be able to play in two-three positions.”

The I-League or the ISL? It has always been a question to be asked of all Indian players. Subhasish though, prefers the latter for some strong reasons. He opined, “The I-League was good, but the ISL gave us the opportunity to play with good coaches and we get to learn a lot after playing with the players, with the quality ISL has. There are better facilities in the ISL, which has helped us all improve our game.”