Filled with high spirits after scoring his first international goal of his career, the in-form forward was excited to answer some of the questions asked by the host along with the fans on the live session. In this live conversation, Farukh Choudhary gets a little more personal as he shares what made him choose football as his future, his routine for in-match composure and much more.
Here are the excerpts from the live session:
What made you choose football as your career over other sports?
Well, my family does not have any football background and I am the first one to become a footballer. My journey began when I didn’t get selected in the school marathon. That led to me choosing football to participate in, in the inter-house school tournament. I asked my parents if I could play football to which they agreed. Since then, I have loved and played this sport with everything I have. There’s a local club in my hometown which I joined. Later, I played for my school team and college team as well which gave me opportunities to play in different cities and different states while representing Maharashtra.
While playing the U-19 tournaments, I got the opportunity to join the trials for Pune FC when I was 17, and that was the turning point in my life; I had the opportunity to experience how a professional academy functions. I spent one and a half years in Pune and it helped me grow a lot as a player and as a person as well. Later, I went to play for second division I-League club, Lonestar Kashmir FC, and then for Kerala Blasters FC after which I started playing in the Hero Indian Super League.
What routine or type of meditation do you follow to help you stay calm in front of the goal?
This is an issue that I have been facing for a long time and I believe that you only get better at handling it with experience and playing with senior players like Sunil Chettri. This attribute gets built with more game time and having more opportunities in front of the goal along with training. But, unless and until you get into those situations in a match, I believe it will take a player some time to build composure in games. I think it is one of the most important abilities for an attacking player to have and if not composed, then you will not be comfortable playing in front of the goal. So, you need to be very calm in those situations; I have been training for the same. I am always looking at Sunil Chettri whenever he has the ball in front of the goal and the moments to learn from him, along with the other experienced players as well; even when I watch other leagues and clubs to learn from their strikers and their ability with the ball while playing against great defenders. So, I am trying to learn and adapt the same into my game and I am sure I can do better in the upcoming games.
What advice would you give to the admiring youngsters aiming to become a professional footballer?
Only advice I would like to give them is to keep their heads down and keep working hard. The most important thing when you graduate from the academy and move onto a senior club or any Hero Indian Super League team, is to have patience. You will get your chance to play. But, till you get that opportunity, you need to make sure you are ready for that challenge and till the time you are ready to play, you can prove yourself to your coach and to your teammates. Since you are a young player, it is difficult to get a chance to be included in the starting line-up directly unless the coach prefers to play more young players, but other than that, you should not get discouraged if you do not get enough time to play; your career has just begun. So, one game or another, you will get your chance very soon.
How do you motivate and cheer yourself up after a bad game?
I don’t think anyone really has the perfect answer to this. When you have a bad day, you don't have enough reasons to motivate yourself. That being said, I just want to say that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to play for the Indian National team and that's more than enough to keep me going on the worst of days.