Subash Singh: 'It's a great feeling to play for the I-League champions'

The former Pune FC striker has successfully completed his move to the champions of India and believes it is time he tasted the Kolkata derby again...

Subash Singh’s tenure with the Lions of Pune, Bharat FC, has come to an end with Mohun Bagan all but confirming his capture for the upcoming I-League 2015-16 season. Singh has revealed that he is eager to partake in the Kolkata derby and also paid homage to Derrick Pereira, his first coach, during a stint at Pune FC.

Goal had earlier revealed the capture of Singh by the Mariners.

"It is definitely a great feeling to be able to play for the I-League champions. The last time when I played in Kolkata, I was very young. I think I have improved as a footballer and I would like to give my best for Mohun Bagan. I will try to make this season a very successful one. I am also looking forward for the derby game," said an elated Singh, to the Mohun Bagan web-portal.

Singh had his skills honed by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Academy in Manipur, before he was snapped by local club ESU. He then took the leap to join Air India, an I-League club then, in 2007. Singh had a brief one year stint with East Bengal, from 2009-10, before joining Pune FC, under then coach Derrick Pereira.

He made 55 appearances for the Red Lizards, scoring 12 goals in the league and became a mainstay in the attack thanks to his pace. He would eventually leave for greener pastures, with home club Shillong Lajong calling in the 2013-14 season. He made 21 appearances for the Reds and scored three goals.

The diminutive attacker earned plaudits for his performances in the Indian Super League (ISL) with Mumbai City FC, where he played 12 games and scored one goal, eventually securing a loan stay with Bharat FC in the I-League in the 2014-15 season.

"The couple of years in Air India and later playing for Pune FC gave me a lot of satisfaction. I learnt a lot while in Air India and I think I had a rather successful time for the Pune club. Also, representing Mumbai City FC in the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League was a great learning experience for me," revealed Singh, when quizzed about the trajectory of his career.

The Manipuri also held special regard for the ISL expounding, “To be able to play with players like Nicolas Anelka, Fredrik Ljungberg was a dream come true for all of us in Mumbai City FC. Though Ljungberg did not play many games, both players guided us a lot especially during the training sessions. Whenever we made any mistakes, they would guide us nicely so that we don't repeat that next time. Also, they shared with us their experiences of playing for top European clubs."

Singh, who has already experienced a Kolkata Derby during his stint at East Bengal, wherein the Red and Gold were defeated 5-3 by his current employers, explained his fascination with the derby claiming, “It is the biggest game in Indian football and every player wants to be part of this game at least once in his career. I have already played a couple of derbies, one at Guwahati which my team won and the other won which we lost at Salt Lake Stadium. This time, if I get chance to play, I would definitely want to be part of the winning side. It is a great feeling to play the derby especially at the Salt Lake Stadium, in such an electrifying atmosphere."  

On his former mentor and current coach Derrick Pereira, the 25-year-old revered, "I enjoyed a lot playing under his coaching."

"Definitely there is a bit of pressure, but as a professional player we will have to adjust with that. Overall, it is a great challenge and great fun to play in Kolkata. I think a player can always give his best if he gets constant support from the fans," he added on the pressure of playing in front of Kolkata fans.