THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Seven years ago, former Kerala footballer Ebin Rose chanced upon a young boy at an orphan school in Pulinkudi, near his home. Instantly noticing something different in the lad, whose parents couldn’t afford his education, Ebin took him under his wings.
So, it came as a proud moment for the coach when his protege Sajith Paulose, now 22 years of age, was drafted this month into the Kolkata-based United Sports Club for their campaign in the Calcutta Football League (CFL) and the I-League second division.
“I have known him for a long time now and he has proven himself in the domestic circuit,” says Ebin. “It will be a big step up for him to play professional football now, but I can guarantee he is going to be okay,” Sajith’s coach at the Kovalam Football Club adds.
Since that meeting with his mentor, Sajith played all over India, mainly for Kovalam FC, but also as a guest player for Travancore Titanium XI in a one-off season. “He has been a vital part of Kovalam for a few years now playing as a striker as well as on the wings,” Ebin says.
In fact, in 2012, Sajith pulled off a rare double hat-trick scoring seven goals in Kovalam’s rout of Keltron Recreation Club 11-0 in the Thiruvananthapuram district super division football league at Central Stadium.
In the 10th G V Raja All-India Football Tournament too, Sajith scored crucial goals against traditional superpowers like the State Bank of Travancore and Kerala State Electricity Board.
In the meantime, he also represented Mahatma Gandhi College in three editions of ‘The New Indian Express GOAL’ All-Kerala Inter-collegiate Football Tournament’ as well as University of Kerala in the all-India inter-university championship.
It was these performances that brought him under the radar of the Kolkata club. “We started the pre-season camp little over a week ago. I think I am adopting well here, especially with nine other Kerala players in the team with me,” Sajith says.
“I am really thankful to my coaches Ebin and Bino George, who helped me obtain this opportunity of playing in this very competitive league,” the player says. “It is going to be a great experience playing against some of the best teams in the country and I hope I can do well,” he adds.
Hailing from Vizhinjam, Sajith’s parents make a living out of fishing. He also has two elder brothers and a younger sister.