Pritam Kotal thinks if any player can’t play in different positions they can’t get a chance
Indian international defender Pritam Kotal who is playing dominantly as a right-back for the Indian national team and also for his club ATK. Kotal plays as a right-back for the national team and he plays in the Central defence under Antonio Lopez Habas’s ATK.
In the previous season along with his best buddy Prabir Das, they maintain a great shape in the defence, with their performance they clinched the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) title.
During an Instagram live session with Indian Football team’s official handle, Pritam Kotal shared his life’s ups and downs.
Pritam Kotal says his U-19 AIFF coach Colm Toal played a major role in his career
“I have fond memories from our U-19 days. We spent 2 years together at the AIFF (All India Football Federation) training centre in Goa. Coach Colm Toal played a very important part in my career. When I was called in the U-19 national team, I was a defensive midfielder. I played two matches as a defensive midfielder. But after that coach changed my position. He helped me a lot to improve and also spent hours after training with me.
“During our first camp in the U-19 national team, in China, I had a knee issue and couldn’t play any game. I had lost hope of making a comeback into the team. But the coach recalled me into the team and gave me a lot of confidence. We learned discipline from the coach and he also helped us to improve our basics,” Pritam told in an Instagram live session.
Pritam Kotal says he struggled for two years to get in shape to adjust in the defense
“When we learn something new, we obviously struggle. When I was at Wari FC in Kolkata, my first football club, I used to play as a defensive midfielder. Then again under Gautam Ghosh’s coaching in the U-19 national team, I played as a defensive midfielder.
“But after Colm Toal came, he saw me play as a midfielder and then he changed my position. I struggled for two or three months. I took some time to adjust but the coach guided me perfectly.”
Pritam Kotal says Deepak Mondal is his role model
“Deepak Mondal (is my idol). As a defender, I used to follow him and his playing style while growing up. He has always helped me grow as a player. We are still in touch and he texted me after the ISL final.”
Pritam Kotal says if any player can’t play in many positions or if they are not flexible they can’t get a chance
“A player must give two or three options to a coach. If you are not flexible, you will not get a chance. If you show versatility, the coach will give you more chances.
Even at Pailan Arrows, then coach Arthur Papas played me as a central defender. I am an introvert so I had to work on my communication which is important for a central defender. Now I can play anywhere in defense,” Kotal concluded.