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We need more state-level games to encourage local talents: ATK forward Jobby Justin

Kerala’s star player from the coastal parts of the capital city wants aspiring players to keep their body strong and resolve stronger

Published: 11th June 2020 09:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th June 2020 09:15 AM   |  A+A-

ATK forward Jobby Justin

ATK forward Jobby Justin (Photo | ATK Twitter)

Express News Service

KOCHI: For ATK player Jobby Justin, cycling and indoor exercises are helping him stay in shape during the lockdown. His participation in the indoor fitness sessions led by trainer Alvaro Ros Bernal, which involves full body workouts, is aimed at burning calories as well as improving the fitness of the players. The 27-year-old who hails from Vettukad, Thiruvananthapuram is part of the ATK squad which emerged as the champions of this year’s Indian Super League (ISL).  

“No equipment is used, and the training module changes every week. The videos are shared with all the players on WhatsApp and we are also required to send in our body weight to the coach after each week,” he says.  Cycling is yet another physical activity that Jobby enjoys doing. He usually rides on the Kovalam—Vettukadu route. “It is also a good substitute for leg workout and improves fitness. I mainly focus on reaching a particular distance instead of gradually increasing the area covered,” he says.   

A travel enthusiast, he has visited many tourist spots in the state over the last few years. “I went to Wayanad last year. However, this year I couldn’t travel much due to the lockdown,” he says.

Apart from doing physical activities, playing video games is also one of his favourite hobbies.  Breaking into the ATK’s top eleven is one of Jobby’s main targets ahead of the upcoming ISL season. The first goal that he scored in the ISL against FC Goa is one of his most cherished memories. According to him, the performance that he showcased during the 2018-2019 season with I-League side East Bengal is what fetched him a dream position in the elite football league. 

“I always wanted to play for a good team in the ISL. The ATK team is one of the best, as all the players, be it Indian or international, are of top quality in their respective positions,” he said. Winning the KPL in 2016 with KSEB and Super Cup with East Bengal in 2017-18 are his milestone achievements.  

Following in the footsteps of former Santosh Trophy captain Sylvester Ignatious and player Thomas Sebastian, Jobby is one of the very few players from the coastal parts of the city to make a career in football. He believes that better platforms are needed to develop talents in football. 

“We need more state-level games to encourage local talents. My message to all coastal players is to keep fit during this time and attend the selection trials of every club, until they strike gold,” he said.

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