Sayantan Chowdhury, who recently led Assam Titans at the Northeast Futsal League in Guwahati, was one of the best in the tournament. The 25-year old had almost single-handedly helped Assam to reach the final with his solid goal keeping performance.
Though Chowdhury had played professional futsal at the highest level in the UK with Nottingham Futsal, his heart still longs to play for India.
“Definitely, I am looking for that moment (when I can play futsal for India). I hope to do that soon once India has a futsal team…maybe one day,” Chowdhury told The News Mill.
Chowdhury recently completed FA Futsal level 1 coaching badge as well. He has played in Zagreb for Dynamo (Croatia) for a season and has been a contracted sports scholar for all these years with Nottingham Futsal.
Chowdhury has had the privilege of playing regularly in front of 1000 plus crowd and playing in university varsity fixtures, continental fixtures, FA Cup fixtures with over 3000 viewership.
During preseason 2017, Chowdhury has played fixtures with Tier 1 clubs like Benfica Futsal and Sporting Futsal.
“I am trying to play more with Indian players…when there’s a national team, so that I will get the opportunity to train and appear for the trails…that’s one of my dreams. Every player dreams to play for their country…since I have been playing futsal for five to six years now. I play in a very professional set up and that has always been my dream. Half of my squad plays for the England national team. India doesn’t have a national team…so I am yet to play for a national team,” Sayantan added.
Chowdhury, who spent some years of his childhood in Guwahati, is also excited to be back here and play with the local players. “It is great to be back here and play alongside the local players. I am also trying to help these boys with whatever I have learnt over the years like how to do stretching, cool down and warm up besides what to eat…stuff like that. Whatever time I am here, I am trying to give it back. That has always been my target to help…because it is a team game,” Chowdhury said.
On Indian football, Chowdhury said that the federation must invest on youth and play longer competition with the participation of maximum players.
“If you see the model around the world, in Germany or in England, professional players need to play at least 40 plus games. But here you play ISL and I-League just for a few months. You need to bring all the players together…say 20 teams and play maximum games. AIFF needs to sort that out. I know they are trying their best. Indian youth are doing very good. In the next five to 10 years, India will do very well,” he said.
He is also excited to play mixed gender futsal which he thinks is the best way to bridge the gap. “When you see a female player all the time on the pitch, this never happens anywhere in the world. I have not played this. This is great thing to bridge the gap. I must say this is a good initiative. I think any organized league of futsal will help the game grow in India,” he added.