Winger Narzary targets goals

Last Updated 30 December 2018, 13:41 IST

Indian winger Halicharan Narzary has set his sights to score goals in the AFC Asian Cup beginning January 5 if he gets a chance to don the national jersey in the continental football showpiece event.

The 24-year-old Assamese has represented the country more than 20 times but has scored just one goal.

"As long as the goals come, it does not matter who scores. Obviously, I have not scored that many goals in the India shirt. That motivates me to work harder, and improve my scoring abilities," Narzary said.

"It's up to me to work hard, improve myself, and prove to the coach that I deserved to be in that list of 23. Now that he has selected me, I aim to score a couple of goals in the tournament. Of course, qualifying for the round of 16 is of paramount importance," he added.

India have been clubbed with Thailand, Bahrain and hosts United Arab Emirates in Group A. They open their campaign against Thailand here on January 6 before facing UAE (January 10) and Bahrain (January 14).

Asked which match in the group will be the toughest one, Narzary said, "I feel that the match against UAE will be the toughest. They are the hosts, and it is always difficult to play against a home team in a big competition.

"The crowd will be like the 12th man for them, so we will have to work even harder, in order to get a good result."

Hailing from a poor family in Kokrajhar in Assam, Narzary had to struggle in his childhood days to play the game.

"I had a really difficult time when I was a kid. I had to struggle a lot back then. But it gives me immense satisfaction where I have reached now after all the hard work. My family also helped me a lot during those days. I would not have been what I was, had it not been for them.

"I'm not someone who belongs to an affluent family. My parents had to struggle to make ends meet. Playing football professionally was a distant dream for me at that time. Let alone playing football, even owning a proper football boot was a far-fetched dream for me during my childhood," he said.

He sat out of India's international friendly match against Jordan last month which they lost 1-2 in Amman.

"I want to fight for my country. But it was understandable that the coach kept me out after we were stuck in the Kuwait Airport for almost 32 hours. We were not physically fit to play that day. But everyone worked hard against Jordan," Narzary said.

(Published 30 December 2018, 13:39 IST)

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