Dalian, China, Sep 07, 2023, IANS
Dalian, China, Sep 7 (IANS) Hailing from the small town of Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu, young striker Siva Sakthi Narayan burst onto the big stage seemingly out of nowhere over the last two seasons.
The young striker joined the Bengaluru FC reserve side on August 1, 2020, and impressed in the following Durand Cup campaign grabbing 3 goals in 5 matches and earning himself a promotion to the senior team in April of 2021.
Siva had to be patient in his first season with the club, only making seven appearances in the Indian Super League, but managed to score one goal in his two matches in the AFC Cup group stage. The young attacker found his true self in the following year, bagging five goals in just six matches in the Durand Cup and making 17 appearances in the top flight of Indian Football, while scoring six goals and providing two assists. The youngster even found himself starting over his idol and Indian Football legend Sunil Chhetri, and star striker Roy Krishna.
His impressive domestic season caught the eye of National Team Head Coach Igor Stimac, who called him up for the long camp in May 2023 before the Hero Intercontinental Cup and SAFF Championship. While not making the final squad for the senior national team, Siva was called up for national duty just three months later by the newly-appointed U-23 Head Coach Clifford Miranda for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers.
When Miranda named the final squad ahead of the tournament, the head coach had already decided on having Siva Sakthi lead the boys on the pitch. When asked about the reason behind the same, the head coach said, “It was really a simple decision to make. There are two types of leaders – ones who talk and motivate the team by being vocal and aggressive, and then there are players like Siva, who motivate everyone around them through their actions. If you purely go by merit of tactical and technical abilities and understanding the game, he is too good.
“Moreover, I needed someone who would impose my philosophy on the pitch with their actions, and this boy is perfect. He is also the only Indian who actually plays as a striker in the ISL, and he had a fantastic season. There was really no doubt about it in my mind,” said Miranda.
Siva Sakthi himself was full of praise for the head coach and his staff, “The training has been very good. All the coaches have been motivating us, and have done their best to prepare the team for this tournament. I feel all players are ready for the challenge.”
Talking about being named captain before his debut for an Indian team in any age category Siva said that he doesn’t feel any pressure.
“I’m extremely happy about being named captain before I even made my debut. It fills me with great pride and I’m grateful to the coaches and my teammates for trusting me and giving me confidence in myself. We don’t feel any pressure and I can assure you the boys will give their best out there on the pitch.”
40, Akhaura Road, Agartala 799 001, Tripura, INDIA.
Administrative Section: 0381-2315907
News Section: 0381-2329560
© Tripuratimes.com. All Rights Reserved.