It is a different feeling for a player to be part of a title winning team. For a first-timer, it is something they will never forget for the rest of his life. But for Steven Dias, it is something he has experienced before. The 29-year old winger has tasted I-League glory with Mahindra United, who were disbanded in 2010.
“Both the titles are very different for me. When I won with Mahindra, I was like a very junior player under Derrick Pereira. Now they count me among the senior players. It is totally different. That time I think it was the national league and this is the I-League. It’s completely different. Like, you know we are the champions of India. It feels great. Hopefully I’ll keep doing this in future,” said Dias to Goal.
Mahindra, who were one of the most consistent sides in the I-League, were forced to break up in 2010.
“When they announced about closing down, at that time only I left. Before that, I think I played for them for about eight years,” recalled Steven. During this time, they won the National Football League (NFL) title, two Federation Cups, three Durand Cup and also two IFA Shield titles. They were amongst the best teams in the country and were given the nickname ‘India’s Manchester United’.
Dias then joined Churchill in 2011 and it has been quite a journey for the Mumbaikar.
“Well at that time I had other offers also. I think I chose Churchill because at that time all young players were there and I felt it would be great to play with them. It’s also close to my home town Bombay. So I chose Churchill. The journey till now has been amazing. I’ve learnt a lot of new things with the new team. Boss is great,” said the winger.
Like many players, Dias has had his tryst with injuries during his time with the Red Machine which has seen him flit in and out of the first XI which boasts of some quality personnel.
"When I joined I was in the first XI, and then in between injuries happened. Then again I was back in the team and then again injuries happened. This thing keeps going on. So I hopefully will be fit and fine next year,” said Dias.
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