Bengaluru FC may have had a wonderful first season in the Indian Super League, but the campaign ended in heartbreak for promising fullback Subhasish Bose. The Blues ended the league stage as the leaders by a large margin, but a final day loss at the hands of Chennaiyin FC ended the fairytale run. Bose, who had a brilliant season for Bengaluru, expressed his sorrow at the fact that they came so close to the title. “It was heart-breaking. I was in tears. We were so close to winning the trophy and yet we couldn’t take that final step,” says Bose.
The young left-back was suspended for the final and one has to wonder if his presence would have resulted in a different scoreline. However, the youngster picked himself up, as did his teammates and went on to win the Super Cup. “Our loss motivated us even further and we went on to win the Super Cup.”
The makings of a star
Bose hasn’t been around for long in Indian football but has already established himself as one of t`he best Indian players in his position. So much was his determination to go to the very top, that Bose went to the U-19 try-outs aged just thirteen. “I was thirteen years old when I first went for a try-out at Pune. Over there, Ranjan Choudhary sir told me that I was too young to be part of the team. He told me to keep practising and he will inform me whenever the trials are. “He called me sometime later and I went in to play in front of him. Afterwards, I got selected,” reveals the defender.
It was at Pune, that Bose was converted into a left-back after his natural talents were recognised by two of the relatively known faces of Indian football. “At the Pune Academy, I was a wing-half. But then I shifted to left back. Both Ranjan Choudhary and Naushad Moosa told me that playing left-back would suit me. So I shifted to left-back,” tells Bose, who has been used as a centre back on several occasions as well. “Since I am a left-footer, I like to play left-back. But regardless, I enjoy playing centre-back as well. I am comfortable with both the positions.” An avid Mohun Bagan fan from the very beginning; the Kolkata-born defender says his breakout moment came while he was donning the colours of his boyhood club.
“My debut for Sporting Goa was nice. But people started noticing me when I got to Mohun Bagan. Anas (Edathodika) and Pritam (Kotal) were there as well. I improved after playing with them.” However, going by Bose’s words, it seems that his best coach till date has to be his father, who himself used to play football. Bose admits that his father still tells him to tweak his game, and improve on certain aspects. “He praises me and criticises me after the matches. He makes me understand where I am making a mistake and where I need to improve,” says the defender. It was a dream of both Subhasish and his father to see him don the Indian jersey, a dream he has achieved at the age of twenty-two.
— Subhasish Bose (@Subhasishbose17) June 17, 2018
“Dad wanted me to play for India and I wanted that as well. So being able to do so is a matter of pride for me.”
New season, new club
The young defender donned the colours of Bengaluru FC last season, where he helped them finish second in the league and win the Super Cup. Bose, however, has a new challenge at hand in the form of Mumbai City FC. “Mumbai presented a good opportunity to me. I felt that if I go there, it would be beneficial for me. So keeping that in mind, I took this decision. “It is always a challenge when you change clubs. You have to adjust with the new club, new situations, new coach, and new teammates. You want to perform well over at your new club as well,” says Bose.
However, the youngster admits that the dynamic nature of Indian football is a challenge in itself, with players having to adjust to new surroundings almost every season. “It is obviously easier to adjust if you have been playing with certain players before. It takes time adjusting to a new system with new teammates. However, often we already know some of the players and have played with them before; whether it is for the national team or another club,” remarks the 22-year-old. “Regardless of this, we always have to adjust to a new surrounding at our new clubs.”
Subhasish Bose will start his second venture into the Indian Super League for the 2018/19 season. The youngster believed that the ISL has helped Indian football a lot, by attracting some of the best in the world. “ISL attracts better coaches, such as (Albert) Roca. He was ex-Barcelona and I learned a lot from him. There were some amazing players on our team as well last season. Miku and Dimas (Delgado) amongst the big names, having played in La Liga.
“I learned a lot about what kind of diet I should keep. And then there was Sunil (Chhetri) as well. I got to learn a lot from him, as well. All of us follow him,” reveals Bose. The youngster continues to list his admiration for Chhetri, who was Bose’s captain last season for both club and country. “Sunil (Chhetri) is a very nice person. He helps the team in every aspect. He keeps us motivated at all times. He would come and help us if we are having any troubles. Overall, he is a great leader.”
What the future holds
Looking ahead, Bose talks us through his preparations for the SAFF cup before talking about India’s chances at the AFC Asian Cup in 2019. “The coach is making us train very hard and we players are responding to him in a satisfactory way. We are giving our 100% on the ground. The SAFF cup is a challenge for us and we will try to do well in the tournament,” says the new Mumbai City defender.
Moving further forward to the AFC Asian Cup, “Every team will enter the cup aiming to go all the way. We just need to keep our focus and take every game one at a time. We cannot take any team lightly. All we can do is play well.
“I do believe that if we work hard then we will be able to make it out of the group stage. We can absolutely make it through to the next round,” says a confident Bose. The youngster also talked about the future of Indian football, and why it is high time for the ISL clubs to start their own women’s team. “Yes, I believe we need to improve women’s football along with men’s football. As you know, most of the teams in Europe have a women team. So I think if we do the same in India, it will be good for football in the country,” says the defender as he takes his leave.