Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: OILFC coach Jitu Chetry is now in Guwahati with his team to participate in the Bordoloi Trophy football championship. In a conversation with The Sentinel Jitu, former goalkeeper of East Bengal, shared his thought on different issues. Here is the excerpt.
The Sentinel (TS): How do you see the present scenario of football in Assam?
Jitu: Honestly speaking we need more development in this game. Two areas are very much crucial: Promotion of club soccer and recruitment of footballers in player's categories.
TS: Can you elaborate a little?
Jitu: Now ISL has given a big platform to our players. But you can't play directly to ISL. For that you have to first compete in local tournaments. However the problem is that now we don't have local competitions which are very high in standard. Just take the example of Super Division League in Guwahati. Once it was most attractive competitions in the State. ASEBSC, Dynamo, Assam Police Blues, Railway.....you could not predict before the start of the tournament who is going to win the title. But now the scenario has completely changed. Everyone knows ASEBSC is the front runner for the title. The sports quota recruitment too has gone down. Earlier FCI, Banks, Police, Railways ... all had soccer teams and because of that all the departments recruit players. But it is reduced drastically now. This process should be revived.
TS: Share your experience to play for East Bengal.
Jitu: I had got the opportunities to learn a lot. There is a craze in football and always crowed turnout in good numbers to support their teams. Another advantage is there. In Kolkata you will get several former players who played for top clubs of the country and also for national team. So whenever you need any guidance it is available easily. However it was very unfortunate for me that I couldnot continue my stay in Kolkata because of family related problems. I had lost my parents within a gap of very short period and it forced me to return home.
TS: It looks like that present generation footballers are not interested to become goalkeeper. Your thought!
Jitu: I agree. Once we produced many top class goalkeepers like Manju Saikia, Shankar Barman, Govindo Boro... but now it is true that most of the clubs are struggling to sign good goalkeeper in their team. I feel goalkeeping is a very tough and challenging job and perhaps it is the reason that most of the young players don't show interest to become goalkeeper.
TS: Please highlight your present job.
Jitu: I am associated with the OILFC team as a coach and trying my best to build it one of the formidable team of the State. I am also working with some plans to produce a few quality goalkeepers who can serve our team as well as our State and country.