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'Used to patch up torn boots,' says Bengaluru FC's Roshan on his humble beginnings in football

As a part of our ISL Spotlight series, we speak to Bengaluru FC's Naorem Roshan who speaks on his gradual rise through the ranks to become a regular outfit for the Blues.

Used to patch up torn boots, says Bengaluru FCs Roshan on his humble beginnings in football

Naorem Roshan Singh (Source: Bengaluru FC)


Rajdeep Saha

Updated: 12 Oct 2022 7:37 AM GMT

Last season, left-back Naorem Roshan Singh racked up seven assists for Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League. After helping the Blues to Durand Cup glory, Roshan is already off to a winning start in ISL 2022-23 with their win against NorthEast United FC.

In an exclusive with The Bridge, the fleet-footed defender spoke about his affiliation with the sport which stems from his early days in his hometown in Manipur, and how his rise in the Bengaluru FC ranks has been gradual but on the upward-curve.

Humble beginnings

Hailing from the small town of Samurou in Manipur, Roshan started playing the sport around the age of six or seven. As a teenager, he got selected to play for the Imphal West District team, and later got scouted into the Thokchom Birachandra Football Academy.

"I just kept playing football because I was happy, and one thing led to another and now I am here now," Roshan said quite simply.

Being the one of three sons, his mother runs her own business. While things are better now, they weren't always hunky-dory for the family. "A lot of the money I've earned from playing football has gone towards making things better for my family back home and that is something that keeps me going," the 23-year-old said.

It was evident that he comes from a middle class family as there was no dearth of struggles back in the day for the then-budding footballer. "I remember there was a time when I used to patch up my torn boots for months because I couldn't afford new ones," the player recalled.

A loyal Blue

After playing tournaments like the U-14 Subroto Cup, the BC Roy Trophy, and the Manipur Super Division League, Roshan earned his spot in the AIFF U18s. It was in 2017 that the speedster moved to Bengaluru FC.

Interestingly, he was in the outfit during the 2018-19 season when the team won ISL, but he was still proving himself in the U18 side. However, the youngster doesn't have any regrets of not being in that title-winning side.

"There are no regrets, for me. Every single thing I have been able to achieve or not achieve has allowed me to learn something. That I have not won the Indian Super League is something that drives me to do better on the pitch and try my best to win it," Roshan explained.

Recently, the player committed his future to the Blues by signing a three-year extension. After winning the 'Emerging Player' award last season, many clubs had their eyes on him, but this wasn't a tough decision for Roshan.

"For me, it was rather easy because since the time I came to BFC, my development as a footballer and a person has been steady and I am grateful to the club for it," said a thankful Roshan.

Different coaches, same goal

As mentioned earlier, Roshan netted once and assisted seven times in the 2021-22 season of the Indian Super League. The twist in the story is that the head coach was Marco Pezzaiuoli. This season, it's up to Simon Grayson whether Roshan gets his starts in the ISL.

"Every coach demands different things, has different approaches and uses different tactics. Coach Simon is someone who has a lot of experience as both a player and a manager, and I am sure that I will learn a lot from him," he said.

In their 2022-23 season opener match against NorthEast United FC, Roshan was involved as ever with an 89% pass accuracy in his bag. Still, he is aware that he needs to work to retain his spot on the team.

"Whether he (coach) chooses to give me the games or not is his decision, and I will respect it either way. My only job is to work hard and apply myself on the pitch," Roshan concluded.

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