GoalBold caught up with Anirudh Thapa, among the top young players from India, who played for India U14, U16 and U19 sides, ISL 2015 Champions Chennaiyin and new entrant to I-League 2017, Minerva Punjab AFC.
Already having won the SAFF U16 Championship in 2013 and participating in the AFC U16 championship, he’s made a mark in the Indian Football circuit with his recent stint at Minerva Punjab as a central midfielder. Let’s see what Anirudh has got to share with us in this short interview –
1. How was your experience at Minerva AFC this year?
-It was a great experience. It was a new club in the league so they created a good team in less time. It was a good opportunity for us, I enjoyed a lot playing with the team.
2. How much did the stint with FC Metz and Chennaiyin FC help you grow as a player?
-FC Metz helped me a lot. When I was in U19, they send me to Germany. After that Chennaiyin FC signed me, I would like to thank Vita ma’am (Vita Dani) for showing such support for me and giving me a chance to play with Chennaiyin. That helped me a lot in gaining some confidence and taking new experience from there.
3. What does it mean to have played 12 games of I-League in your debut year with tough competition in the Minerva team?
-It was my debut club and my first I-league. I would also like to thank Surinder Singh, coach of Minerva Punjab, he trusted me and gave me chance to play despite having a bunch of experienced players.
4. What role did Ranjit Bajaj have with Minerva Punjab, how crucial was he for the team, with him sitting in the dugout each and every game?
-Ranjit Bajaj is a positive guy with lots of energy in him. He himself was a football player and ex-roadies contestant. He knows what does motivation means to a player or to a team.
5. After having played for age group sides like U14, U16 and U19, how will you rate your improvement from the past and who played an important role in developing him. Also, who found your talent to be good enough for the NT and who is your motivation?
-I have played under many coaches and every coach teaches you something. I have enjoyed every coach I had, it was a great experience. Growing up the age group systems, it helped me develop myself as a player.
There was a trial in Uttrakhand in which guy named Ankit selected me. Later I was sent to Gurgaon. From there my journey began.
6. FIFA U-17 World Cup is around, how do you feel it’s gonna change Indian Football?
-U-17 World Cup will bring many people altogether. It’s like upgrading Indian Football. Many new people will start following football in India. It will help a lot.
Here’s Anirudh Thapa signing off after a day of practice and training with players elder to him in the dusty pitches of Dehradun, gaining experience and keeping himself fit for the challenges that stand ahead. We wish him all the luck for his future and thank him for this wonderful interview with us!! Keep playing hard, Anirudh!