Shilton Paul was the most unfortunate man in the park after having conceded four goals against arch rivals, East Bengal in Sunday’s Kolkata Premier League derby. The goalkeeper, who has been representing Mohun Bagan for last eight years, admitted he simply had to spend nightmares on Sunday after returning home from Salt Lake Stadium.
But the goalkeeper has also driven himself back towards the future. Paul who is now in Kochi, attending training sessions with the Kerala Blasters team to participate in the forthcoming Indian Super League (ISL) said over telephone on Wednesday, “I know it would be extremely difficult to forget these four goals I have conceded for the first time in my last 10 years football career. Still I have to fight and look forward. “
And while preparing mentally again to come back, Neil Young, the Australian goalkeeping coach of Kerala Blasters has been his inspiration. Young was severely injured after a collision with an opponent team’s striker in an A-League match in 2009 and then he had to spend in hospital for the next one month. He had broken his nose and at the same time Young was failing to develop white blood cell in his body. And for that reason his life fell in danger. In spite of the situation, Young, the goalkeeper returned to the pitch after a gap of almost two and half years and performed a full season with A-League team Perth Glory in 2011-12 seasons.
Paul, aware of this fact, said, “If young can come back after grappling with such a deadly accident then why can’t I? And I am hopeful that in Kerala Blasters Mr Young will be my inspiration. And at the same time, I will get senior custodian like Sandip Nandy who will give me a lot of good suggestions to get over this crisis.”
Simultaneously, Mohun Bagan goalkeeper now feels that out of the two brilliant free-kicks taken by Do Dong-Hyun, giving Mohun Bagan an early shock with 2-0, Shilton could have thwarted the second free-kick. The 27-year old goalkeeper clarified, “I could anticipate that Hyun’s left-footed free-kick was coming to my left. But the soil at the Salt Lake Stadium was so muddy and soft that I could not make my leg movement. That was the reason I only tried to dive to foil the free-kick but failed.”
Paul is awaiting the matches in ISL now. He knows unless he performs an excellent show in any forthcoming match, he will not be able to erase tarnished scoreline of the derby match which like all other Mohun Bagan players, Paul also has been bearing.