Jamshedpur FC and National team forward, Farukh Choudhary, was recently invited to be the guest of a live session, hosted by the Indian Football Instagram page after returning from the international friendlies that the Blue Tigers were a part of.
Fresh out of the international friendlies against Nepal, the super-sub answered some questions asked by the host along with the fans on the live session where Farukh talked about the miscellaneous struggles faced by Indian players as a striker, and his feelings after fulfilling his childhood dream of scoring for Team India.
Here are the excerpts from the live session:
How have you spent your time after the international friendlies against Nepal?
I rested for 2 days after I got back home from Nepal. Post that, I started my training routine and also got to spend a few days with my family. Now the focus is on the SAFF Cup and I hope we can do well in it.
How did it feel to score your first international goal for the Blue Tigers?
It was amazing! I have been dreaming about it ever since I played in the SAFF Cup 3 years ago which was also my first international tournament. In the first game itself, I received a lot of chances to score, but I couldn’t convert any. Since then, I have not gotten many chances to score for the country, and opportunities to prove my worth; I yearned to score for a long time. Nevertheless, I finally got to score my first international goal and I cannot really put it into words how amazing it felt.
As a big fan of Indian Football, and being a professional footballer myself, scoring a goal for my country means everything to me. I hope this is just the beginning and I continue to score more in the future to help India reach greater heights.
What according to you are the struggles of an Indian striker?
In my academy days, I started as a striker in the games, but when you are part of a squad of an ISL team, the squad already consists of 3-4 foreign strikers, thus making it difficult to take that spot, especially when you are young. So, that difference in preference is there and also the foreign players are physically fitter which is an overall advantage for them during the selection process. In the beginning, I was frustrated as I did not get to play in my preferred position, but one needs to understand that football is not a ‘one position game’; the players need to move around all the time. Of course playing in the preferred position in the national team helps a player become more confident. But, from what I noticed in the past 3-4 years in the ISL, I had to change my game style accordingly because when a club has foreign strikers, the coach will prefer to play them more and put the Indian forwards in the wing positions. So, I adapted to the wing and midfielders positions accordingly which gave me more opportunities for improvement.
It is a struggle for Indian strikers after playing in different positions in the clubs, and then playing in the striker position in the national team. However, at the end of the day, it does not matter because there are 11 players on the pitch to make a difference. As an attacking player, one needs to make different sorts of movements so that you are not stopped by the centre-backs.