Arnab Mondal

I-League 2017: No regrets in not playing in ISL, says Salam Ranjan Singh

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Kolkata: East Bengal defender Salam Ranjan Singh is ready to give his best for the Red and Golds in the forthcoming I League. The 21 year old defender from Manipur has been signed by the Kolkata giants from Bengaluru FC with an eye to strengthen their defence. The man himself is quite confident to do well for his team in the I League.

“The first match of the I League will be very important, as a win will give us the confidence for the entire season,” said the young defender to the reporters at the club tent.

Salam will have a tough task to break into the playing eleven as there are quite a few contenders in the defence. Red and Golds already have defenders like Gurwinder Singh, Eduardo, Arnab Mondal and Kaushik Sarkar.

“It will be tough for me to break into the playing eleven as all the players in defence are senior to me. They are all experienced players. I have to play well in whatever opportunities I get to cement my place in the side,” said a confident looking Singh.

Salam looks up to Anas Edathodika and Sandesh Jhingan as his role model. He would also like to credit national coach Stephen Constantine.

According to Salam, “I must credit National Coach Stephen Constantine for his constant guide and tips.”

Salam has no regrets of not playing the Indian Super League (ISL). His old club Bengaluru FC is now playing the ISL. Talking about handling pressure in Kolkata, Salam said, “This is my first season in Kolkata and so far it has been enjoyable. Perhaps I will only get to know the pressure when I take the field.”

Coach Khalid Jamil definitely has Salam in his scheme of things.

Another footballer whom the gaffer would look up to is Surabuddin Mollick. The 25 year old midefielder has cut a niche for him by turning into super-sub. On being asked about his role, a shy looking Surabbudin said, “I would aim to cement my place in the first eleven.”

With four National League Titles and eight Cup titles, East Bengal will take the field against Aizawl FC in the hunt for their maiden I-League title.


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