Kolkata, Oct 13 (PTI) He is only 17 but India World Cupper Abhijeet Sarkar wants job security that will help him secure financial stability for his family.
"Every state like Manipur, Mizoram have given cash incentives in lakhs to the players. And Bengal is the home of Indian football. We have done so much and I feel we also deserve to get something. I hope the state government helps us as well," Abhijit said after his arrival here today.
The three Bengal teenagers including Rahim Ali and Jitendra Singh today returned home after India's historic U17 World Cup debut.
The India No 10 had an impressive game against Colombia and almost gave them a first half lead but missed the target by a whisker, when his strike from an acute angle was blocked by Kevin Mier as they lost out 1-2.
"It's really disappointing that I missed the target. I will regret this miss forever. I gave my best but still missed out. I could not believe myself that I had missed it but that's part and parcel of the game," he rued.
"But we played well (vs Colombia) and lost. It's a way forward for the Indian football. The coach (Luis Norton de Matos) has given chances to everyone. The support staff is happy with our performance," he added.
Abhijit also hoped he gets to play a big club in his ultimate aim to represent India seniors.
"Now it's time to graduate to the next level and play for India seniors but before that I would like to get a good club.
Also I am in search for a job now, my parents are old and it's time that I look after them. It would be real help if the government helps us." Abhijit's journey has started from Bandel as he took the arena by storm after his impressive performances for India during their European tour, where he scored against an Italian representative side.
Remembering his hardships on how his childhood coach bought him a pair of boots, he added:"It's been a tough journey to the World Cup. I have sacrificed many things since childhood. My parents and coach have supported me throughout my career.
"There was a time when I did not even have boots but my coach bought it for me and supported me. I will never be able to forget those days of hardship. Dad never said no even if he was unable to afford something. I am grateful to my parents," he concluded. PTI TAP KHS KHS .
This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.