The midfielder wants club success to precede personal accolades after a superb showing in his first season at the club...
Denson Devadas has had an monumental season with the green and maroons of Mohun Bagan. Being a robust midfielder maestro, he not only controlled the midfield but also created chances and defended like part of the backline in times of trouble. His efforts played a crucial part in helping Bagan stay clear of the relegation zone. In fact so polished and distinguished were his displays, that just a year after transferring over from United SC, his club’s executive committee awarded him the “Best Footballer of the Season” trophy.
Speaking to The Times of India Devadas proudly said, “It is a really great feeling to be adjudged best player in the very first season, and that too at a club with so much history and tradition. Also, there were so many good players in the team last season. I am really very happy.” He will be awarded the trophy on July 29th, which is also celebrated as Mohun Bagan day.
Devadas credits former Bagan coach, TK Chathunni, who he believes played an important role in transforming him from a striker to a midfielder during first steps at Viva Kerala as a professional in 2004.
“That was the turning point of my career. Chathunni sir has had a big influence on my football career and I still interact a lot with him,” opined Denson whose father, Devadas Anthony, played for Kerala in the Santosh Trophy.
“When I got a chance to play for Viva, my aim was to play in the Santosh Trophy which eventually happened in 2006. After that goal was realised, I was determined to play for one of the top clubs like Mohun Bagan or East Bengal.”
After joining United SC, the Kolkata based club, in 2007, Denson earned a stern reputation for himself over the course of five seasons. He was eventually offered contracts by several clubs but opted to join Mohun Bagan, a decision backed by his family and mentor. "Chathunni sir and my family members wanted me to join Bagan and I am really happy that I made the move,” he quipped.
In life one faces regrets and Denson is no different. Speaking on his personal success, Denson lamented that it didn’t quite cover-up for the failure of the team in the league, but optimistically hoped for a better season next time around.
“We could not win any major trophy last season. We all will give our best and look to win as many trophies as we can next season. The team looks quite balanced and we are hoping for the best.”
He placed his faith in the ability of coach Karim Bencharifa, whose influence,he says, is crucial for the team. Speaking on his relationship with the coach, whose style, footballing sense and personality he is already adept to, Denson says, “He is a fantastic coach... a very creative one. He can motivate the players well. It was great to play under him last season... he showed a lot of faith and confidence in me. I am really looking forward to playing under him again.”
National hopes keep floating in the wind, but Denson preaches patience and hopes the time will come soon when he dons the Indian Jersey. “I know the time will come when I will represent my country as well,” concludes Denson.