Doutie dons mentor's role

Doutie dons mentor's role

It's been two years since Sameehg Doutie came to India. Joining Atletico de Kolkata - now renamed  as ATK - from Supersport United in the  Premier Soccer League, the top tier football league in South Africa, the 28-year-old was one of the brightest sparks for the Kolkata side.

Though his numbers won't suggest much -- the  wide-man provided six assists and scored three goals in 2015  and followed that with  two goals and four assists the following  year -- Doutie's presence  would allow the side to play a free-flowing attacking game.

"It's been amazing (in India). I reached the semifinal ones, won the title once," he says talking about more tangent takeaways.

But this season, things are a little different for Doutie. He has just joined newcomers Jamshedpur FC  and has the  role of  helping  build a new team  in the 'Steel' city.  "I have a different role. It's about helping the team," he says.

"It's important that I help Jamshedpur reach the heights I did. The guys are doing well and everyone is working hard. We know it's a new franchise, but I don't think that matters much. I want to see that the team reaches the semis first, we'll take from there."  

And the manner in which his  team has started the league, one won't be surprised if Jamshedpur ends up among the top four sides at the end of the league phase. Of the five games so far, the Steve Coppell-coached side has won one, lost one and drawn three.

"I think we have had a fine start. I am happy with the way  things have progressed," he says. "We know tomorrow is a very crucial game (against Bengaluru FC). We know Bengaluru is above  us with 12 points. We Need to push and try and win the game and try to reduce the deficit," he says explaining the importance of their tie against Bengaluru FC on Thursday.

However, Doutie's time with Jamshedpur hasn't been a merry one as the winger would have hoped for. Early this season,  reports emerged  that the South African was unhappy with the playing time he got  at the club and reportedly avoided staying at the team hotel during their time in New Delhi. However, Doutie is quick to dismiss this claim. "That's just random people making rumours," he says.

"I have never had a problems here. Be it with the team or the gaffer (coach). He's the one who got me here. I have so much respect for him. I don't know how can people even think that I would have a problem with a person I call my father."

And seeing him interact with the head coach during a training session here, it was apparent that the two share a healthy relation, something that team should benefit from.

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