Dare to Dream series- Episode 2 : Interviewing Pushkar Banger, an Unsung hero

In our 2nd episode of the ‘Dare to Dream’ Series we have managed to reach all the way to Germany interviewing Pushkar Banger. Pushkar is one of those jewels of Indian football who has gone from scratch to playing in the 5th division league in Germany and his impressive performances have hinted for a trial for the 3rd division.  What happens there is a different story but we at Football Counter have yet again managed to unearth a jewel.

Pushkar Banger started playing football at the age of 13. At that time he could not get into a proper club or had a proper field to play on like most of them do. When he took the decision of pursuing football as a profession everyone opposed his decision and had negative remarks to all of this. But with time he was able to convince his parents and today as you all can see, it is a completely different scenario. Pushkar trained himself and went for numerous trials. He has played the U-19 nationals for Haryana , Santosh Trophy for Haryana. His first professional contract came with former I-league  champions Churchill Brothers. After they were discarded from the I-league, Pushkar switched to PIFA Colaba on laon. There he met coach Nirvan Shah who was instrumental in spotting his talent and taking his career to a different level. Pushkar Banger was called up for the trials by SV Memmelsdorf playing the 5th Division in Germany. His hardwork and perseverance paid off and he was selected to play for the German club for the 2015-16 season which he joined in Jan. Here is the interview with the boy himself who has set an example for everyone in India

 

Q) Describe your current club where you are playing, SV Memmelsdorf?

A) SV Memmelsdorf was formed in the year 1923. It is situated in Bamberg, in the State of Bavaria. The best club of the state is Bayern Munich. This club has also played in DFB Pokal Cup, the German cup.

Q)How are the facilities in your current club SV Memmelsdorf?

A)Awesome is the word to describe them. They have 5 fields and a good strength of coaching staff. The club has 2 teams and I must say the level is quite high. It is whole new level. The practise sessions are intense, the dedication levels are immense.

Q) How has PIFA Colaba as a club been for your international selections and overall progress as a football player?

A)PIFA gives very good opportunities to young players and a chance to showcase their talent in front of major scouts in India. I-league scouts for example. The structure of the club is brilliant. It is truly one of the giants in Mumbai and the number of players that have taken their career to a whole new level  through PIFA is there to be seen.

Q) How will you describe Nirvan Shah’s impact on your career?

A)Nirvan Sir has been the most important figure in my football career. I was in Churchill brothers before joining PIFA. He is the one who gave me a break. I played my first professional game under him. The way he motivates the players and sticks with them in tough times makes him extra special.

Q) Who has been your role model throughout your football career?

A)) Frankly speaking my father has been my role model throughout my career. He is fighting cancer from the past 10 years and he is alive just to see me at the biggest stage of football. I work hard daily to make this dream come true.

Q) Describe the best moment of your career?

A) When i scored my first goal two days back in practice match, I can say is my best moment of my career yet. After scoring I literally cried and could possibly see the flashback of my struggles i went through to get here.

Q) If Pushkar was not a footballer? Which sport would he pursue?

A) 100m sprit or Taekwondo

Q) You are playing in the fifth division there in Germany? Do you think you can make it to a higher league in German football?

A) There are scouts over here to observe the players and I have an agent who really believes in me and the performances I have given so far. According to him a trail will be arranged soon. So I am hoping for the best and will keep working hard.

This was an amazing interview considering the odds Pushkar has overcome to get here. He also described the state of his family. His father being diagnosed with cancer, on a wheel chair fighting a grueling battle with life. Pushkar’s mom and himself are the ones who run the family spending sleepless nights. This did not stop him from pursuing football. He has spent sleepless nights taking care of his father and gone for training early in the morning, sometimes afternoon. Sometimes all three times of the day which is spectacular. As the interview came to an end an Pushkar also stated being pulled down by local players on motivation. Being told that foreign players were on a higher level and that Indian players could never get there motivated him to prove them wrong even more. Before ending it he was very quick to point out the fact that along with fulfilling his dad’s dream, Pushkar also wants the entire world to respect his country’s credentials and not consider India as some third world country. This story surely is for the ones who need motivation in this sport called football. It is a beautiful game and trust me, we at Football Counter are driven to cover these stories of unsung heroes who are stand out from the rest. And those who have left a mark but have not been noticed!!!

I am sure everyone reading this wishes Pushkar Banger all the very best for his future!!. Everyone at Football Counter would like to thank Mr Nirvan Shah and PIFA Colaba for encouraging us to interview him and tell his story to the world.

 

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