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‘I’m not going overboard’

Calcutta: Subrata Paul is someone who doesn’t live in the past. And for him, it’s no point thinking about the future.

“I always live in the present. That’s something I have learnt over the years. There’s no point dwelling on the past and mulling over the future. Your mind gets clogged,” he said on Monday.

Taking a day’s break after his match-winning performance against Mohun Bagan, the Rangdajied United Football Club goalkeeper is back in the mix, again. “It’s a great feeling. But I am not going overboard. For me, it’s an important win, since this is our first victory in the I-League. The team needed these three points desperately. And I am happy to play my part,” the 27-year-old said.

“I am with the club till December 31 and I just want to do well under the bar. Our next match is against East Bengal in Shillong and Sunday’s win will give us a lot of confidence,” Subrata said.

Subrata will be leaving for Slagelse-based FC Vestsjaelland, which plays in the Danish Superliga in early January.

“I have to work hard to win a start for the FC Vestsjaelland. It’s big break for me. I cannot afford to make any false move. I also have to win back my position in the national team.” Subrata was not part of the India team which played two international friendlies in Siliguri last month.

Wim Koevermans believes that the players who were roped in by IMG-R should not be considered for the national team unless they play active football.

“Now that I am playing for RUFC and also will be in Denmark from early January, I think I have a very good chance of winning back my position.”

Subrata’s early years as a professional footballer was tumultuous. He had a collision with Cristiano Junior during the 2004 Fed Cup final in Bangalore.

The Brazilian collapsed and died on the field. Subrata was vilified for that collision and he was just 18. This Friday it will be nine years since that horrific accident. “Only I know what I went through. That time Sir (Debasish Mukherjee) gave me the strength.”

And that was not the end to Subrata’s woes. After the 2005 IFA Shield semi-final, the then Bagan coach Amol Dutta had accused Subrata of taking bribe from the arch-rivals. “I do not want to talk about that episode,” he said.Subrata thinks those incidents made him stronger. “Yes those incidents steeled my nerves. I worked hard and then came up with some good performances under Bob (Houghton) Sir.”

Houghton was a big fan of the 27-year-old goalkeeper. “For someone, who has seen so much at such an early age, this guy has an amazing mental make-up. A very strong character,” he had said.

Subrata has a regret, though. “For the second year, I will not be with my wife on our anniversary. Last January 18, I was away playing an away match for United SC, and this time I will be in Denmark,” he signed off.