John Landa Matkin made the headlines last Sunday by scoring a goal despite his team not faring too well against the in-form Churchill Brothers.
In an exclusive chat with Goal.com, the Snow Lions' latest acquisition spoke about his decision to come to India and his goal on debut for his new club.
“I am glad I got it out of the way. There is always pressure on me to score. If I wouldn’t have gotten a goal in my first few games, it would have really given me some sleepless nights. I am probably my worst critic," he said when asked about his thoughts on the goal.
The man from San Diego who has also played in England, Ireland and Japan found his way down to India when a friend suggested him to try his hand at the IPL-Style league (Premier League Soccer) proposed to materialize in the country as conceptualized by Celebrity Management Group (CMG).
“I looked at India as an option that could provide me with a new adventure as well as a whole new experience. But since the league got suspended or pushed back, I remained patient and decided to ply my trade in the I-League," he said.
That was when his trial with Dempo SC took place, but Matkin was critical of the way it was conducted by the club.
“I originally came down to Dempo as their coach (Armando Colaco) had contacted my agent. I came out there and trained with them for almost 3 months. They kept me waiting and never gave me an exact answer as to what they had in mind for me, and at the same time they were having problems with their other foreign players. The team was good but the other things like my trial was handled very unprofessionally."
"I had to pay for the taxi to the training ground and they never put me up in a hotel either. It was a really bad experience as such,” he went on to reveal.
The Mexico national also mentioned that Rohan Ricketts and Stephen Offei advised him to bide his time till January when other teams will be in need of foreign players. Ironically, both these players too have now left the club for pastures new.
“Well there were not many options for me. It was pretty much first cum first serve basis. I went to Mohammedan Sporting and was thinking of playing for them but I just felt somewhere that the I-League would mean a better experience and a better exposure. I obviously chose the first division over the second. And then Sikkim was looking for an attacking player, so I ended up here," he told Goal.com.
The former Grulla Moriaka player has settled in well in the United Sikkim ranks. They lie second from the bottom of the table (Mohun Bagan start off from scratch now) and Matkin was quick to show his concern about the situation. He reiterated that his team was not being hammered by oppositions and were barely missing out on a win.
“We really need to catch a break. In this league anything is possible. You don’t know what is going to happen. There are upsets almost every weekend. If we can get a win under our belt, we can get some momentum. Goals can help us win, and maybe a couple of wins before the break will definitely go a long way in help us avoiding relegation," he added.
Matkin feels his attacking style of play coupled with the side's possession based football can help the team get positive results in the coming weeks.
”I love taking players on and never hesitate taking a shot on goal. But if I can’t get the shot away, I am never one for not passing! I have played as a striker before and also out wide in midfield. So anything attacking I can be a threat," he revealed.
He was also quick to commend the widespread presence of youth in the team. He mentioned, “They are all hard-working and are mature enough to know that we have a difficult task up ahead of us."
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