Prakash Thorat expressed his joy at being involved in the AFC cup and insists he is driven to enhance his participation in the first team.
The opportunity was only Prakash’s second start for Pune FC, after making his debut in the 2013 Durand Cup in New Delhi.
Prakash said; “The feeling was terrific. I never expected it, but heart of heart I knew that my hard work will be rewarded… it was just a matter of time. Figuring in an AFC Cup… To be honest, I did not expect.”
Prakash, has so far, logged a total of five appearances in all competitions for Pune FC this season.
“I was the fourth striker recruited in the squad and all the while I wondered when my chance would come. However, I stuck to my job of practicing hard. Never missed practice and when on the pitch always put in my best.”
“During the pre-match practice, Coach Mike Snoei mentioned to me that I have been working hard over the past four to five months, including times when the team was away, before telling me the big news that I was playing.”
Prakash, who is Pune FC’s third city-born player to figure in the senior squad, went on to log full 90-minutes and almost got on the score-sheet late in the game, but was denied by the opponent goalkeeper who saved his header from point-blank range.
“Honestly, I felt a lot of pressure when I was told that I will start. I had not played for a long time and thoughts ran amok in my mind. But then Coach (Mike Snoei) assured me; don’t worry. Just go out and play and I’ll direct.”
“The standard was higher than expected overall. It took a while to settle but then I enjoyed the game.”
“Once on the field I was confident and felt I could score as well, but then I told myself to be content with what was on hand and went about my job focusing overall.”
Prakash has now set his sights on featuring more regularly for the first team. “I am feeling nice to be part of the team now. I would want like to do more for the team, but I know I have to be patient,” he explains.