Ritwik Das of Jamshedpur FC (JFC), who on Monday dashed ATK Mohun Bagan’s hopes of winning the ISL League Shield, feels the job is only half done.
“As a team we have been playing well from the beginning of the season. We would have been disappointed had we not won the League Shield. Yes, I may have scored the goal against ATK Mohun Bagan but the credit goes to the entire unit. The team management was always behind us and encouraged us all the time. But I think our job is just half done. We have to do well in the semi-finals and final and our next target is to win the trophy,” Das, 25, told The Telegraph on Tuesday.
Das, who hails from Asansol, started playing football from his school days. “I was selected to play for my school, St. Patrick’s Higher Secondary School, when I was in Class VII and from then on my interest gradually increased about the game. My mother (Mita) also took great interest, she used to come with me to Calcutta from Asansol during the initial days,” he said.
In 2012, Das was selected for Mohun Bagan’s non-residential academy and his dream of becoming a professional player started. His professional career started at Calcutta Customs after which he joined Kalighat MS. That was where he blossomed and caught the eye of Real Kashmir FC recruiters.
“My coach at Kalighat MS Arun Ghosh helped me a lot. He rectified a few of my techniques, which still helps me.”
Das represented Real Kashmir FC from 2017-2020. Das made his ISL debut for Kerala Blasters in the 2020-2021 season, and while he played only four matches, he believes he learnt a lot.
He has scored four goals and assisted one in the 15 matches he has so far played for JFC this season. “Our coach Owen Coyle gave me confidence. I just tried to do my level best for the team.”
Das, who is yet to be booked in ISL VIII, said he tries to play clean. But he accepts he has a long way to go. “My dream is to represent my country, hope it will be fulfilled,” he said.