Pune FC's Arata Izumi: It will be great if I win the FPAI Fans Player of the year award

The Red Lizards' star player was pleased to be nominated and also spoke on fellow nominee and team-mate James Moga...

The Fans’ Player of the year award nominations have been revealed by Football Players Association of India (FPAI) for their Indian football awards function which is scheduled on the 23rd of this month.

Arata Izumi is one of the two Pune FC players who is on the esteemed list and the India international is hopeful of his chances of winning the award.

“I am hoping, but it depends. If I can win then that’s great, but I will be happy if someone else wins it either,” he told Goal.

When asked about team mate and a contender for the same award James Moga, who is among the top goal scorers in the I-League this season, he said, “I am happy that he has been nominated as well. He is a great player to work with. He is strong, and he can score from anywhere. Off the pitch he is a really nice guy.”

Arata moved to clear any doubts of his future at Pune by stating that he was “committed to Pune FC”, and that he was not keen on a move elsewhere.

“I am not running right now. Pune FC is the best club for me and I love this club,” said the former Mahindra United player.

Arata has had a wonderful season for Pune FC and with the Maharashtra side still in contention for the top spot, he could still end up with a medal around his neck.

“It has been a great season for both me and the club. We could still finish the season as champions. It has been a good team effort. Individually also I’ve had a good season. We deserve to be in the top three,” he mentioned.

His good form for Pune, also caught the eye of the National side coach and he made his debut for India, in their loss to Palestine back in February. With that he came became the first ‘foreign’ player to have turned out for the country after accepting Indian citizenship.

“It was a dream come true for me when I made my debut against Palestine. I was very happy to have finally played for the national team.

“It was great. I was welcomed warmly by the staff and the players. They made me feel comfortable and I appreciate it,” he said.

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