Pune FC's Arata Izumi speaks to Goal.com on his ambitions and life off the field...
Born to an Indian father and Japanese mother, the Player of Indian Origin (PIO), he previously played for Albirex Nigata in the S-League of Singapore and also featured for Mizushima FC in Japan.
He didn’t enjoy a successful first season in India due to “alien conditions, hard grounds and sweltering heat” and the following season moved to Mahindra United where he spent two seasons and won the Durand Cup and the IFA Shield.
As his initial potential had not yet been fulfilled and everyone expected more, Pune FC came calling. Having had a decent pre-season Izumi will be hoping to step up a gear this year and help Pune challenge for honours. An attacking midfielder by preference he can also fit in the right sided midfielder’s role.
When asked about his preferred role he said with a grin, “I want to score goal from midfield.” And he wasn’t far away from doing that last evening against East Bengal. A Chelsea FC fan by admission, it’s safe to say he would like to emulate the performances and consistency of Frank Lampard.
On a personal note he seems to be enjoying life in Pune. “I am happy here and relaxed. Now I just want to get started with the season.” On asked what goals he had set this season, “We want to do everything game by game and not get carried away.”
Apart from playing football Arata loves to “sleep and watch movies”. And even though he doesn’t really follow any sport he enjoys watching tennis. It is an exciting time for the young man.
His new club have come into the big league with a lot of hope and ambition, and he must be itching to get onto the field and work towards the ‘goal’.