Former Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC have already proved their mettle by winning the Durand Cup at the start of the season as they defeated Mumbai City FC in the finals. It was a very different Durand Cup this time with many ISL outfits choosing to feature their main team in the tournament.
While there were many players who made a mark at this year’s Durand Cup, one of them was Bengaluru FC youngster, Sivasakthi Narayanan who played a very important role for the Blues throughout the tournament and also scored a goal in the finals. Bengaluru FC managed to win the Durand Cup helping their captain and Indian Football icon Sunil Chhetri to complete his cabinet in Indian football.
However, sharing his experiences to The Bridge, the young striker who made it to the first team after rising through the ranks at BFC’s young academy was just mesmerized by the chance given to him to contribute for the Blues and win the title. “It is a big tournament and I knew this was my chance to shine. I am thrilled that I can contribute to the team and it feels good to be the champions,” Sivasakthi highlighted.
Sivasakthi Narayanan hails from a tiny town of Kandanur in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu. The area has a great football culture where he used to play 7-a side tournaments. He used to play in mud fields and looking at his talent he made it to the Noble Academy where he used to play 7-a side tournaments. He later joined Raman Vijayan Academy and there he came to notice for the first time.
It was from there Bengaluru FC saw his talent and came calling. Sivasakthi has already featured in the ISL last season and then followed it up by playing in the Next Gen cup for the Blues. But it was in Durand he decided to fire up and is looking eagerly to make a mark in the upcoming ISL season.
The transition from the muddy pitches in Kandanur to the turf of Sree Kanteerava Stadium. He credited the likes of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Sunil Chhetri for always supporting him and being there for him in this transition period. “I am close to my mother and the team has also supported me. Seniors like Sunil Bhai [Chhetri], Gurpreet Bhai [Singh Sandhu]and many others always keep me motivated. I have learnt not to take pressure from them and be focused on my work. These people have taught me how to deal with things off the pitch,” he added.
Sivasakthi was in full force at this Durand Cup as he scored five goals and was the highest scorer for Bengaluru FC. He outscored people like Sunil Chhetri, Roy Krishna and others and was exceptional in front of goal. His natural ability to find spaces in defence and score goals makes him a great talent.
It will be exciting to see how the youngster does under the leadership of new coach Simon Grayson. The Englishman is looking to guide the Blues in a new direction and the Durand Cup boost will give him and the team a lot of confidence.