Chattisgarh’s Ranjeet Pandre shares his experience of playing in the Durand Cup

A young and lanky striker turned defender, Ranjeet Pandre is all set to ply his trade in the big leagues now.

A young and lanky striker turned defender, Ranjeet Pandre is all set to ply his trade in the big leagues now.

Sanjeev Verma, who is regarded as one of the old warhorses in the Mumbai football scenario brought Ranjeet in the City of Dreams. When he first came to Mumbai, Ranjeet had his fair bit of struggles. Pandre’s dreams of playing professional football was soon turned into a reality.

Sanjeev was the first among many to identify his individual excellence. He was scouted by the veteran to join the Mumbai Elite Division. Pandre signed for the Union Bank of India and gained valuable experience of playing in the MDFA Elite for a year. His prowess earned him the best striker at the MDFA Elite Division. He went on to play in the Maharashtra team for the Santosh Trophy.

Last year, he joined the current I-League Champions, Chennai City FC and this season represented them in the prestigious Durand Cup. Football Counter was up and close with the budding talent and got to know more about his experience in the 129th edition of the prestigious Durand Cup held in Kolkata.


This is your first Durand Cup, how does it feel to play in one of the oldest tournament?

It feels great to be part of this prestigious tournament. During my childhood days, I dreamt of playing football in India’s biggest stage. To play the Durand cup is like a dream come true for me.

Why playing in the Durand Cup is important for you as a footballer?

Tournaments like Durand Cup are going to encourage the upcoming footballers. We prepared very well before the tournament. Unfortunately, the results were not in our favor. But this is the kind of stage where you actually get noticed and the history of the coveted championship makes it better for us.

What are your plans after the Durand Cup?

After the Durand Cup, my focus is completely on the I-League as we were the champions last season. The expectations are more from us now and we are ensuring more training sessions and hard work in the field.

Your original position is a striker, as we had seen you doing great in the Mumbai league. Now you’re playing as a defender. How has the transition taken place and what are the strategies to start you as a defender?

Yes, I prefer to play as a striker. I have done good in this position but as a player, you have to be ready to adapt in any position the team demands. On-field, it doesn’t matter what is your position, what matters is the contribution you’ve made for your team. And for me, I don’t have difficulties adopting any position. In the end,  you’re required to play with your legs and heart.

What did you learn in your short time in Mumbai with Union Bank of India?

Playing for the Union Bank of India has been one of the turning points of my career. I learned too much here. This is where I professionally got better. I really am thankful to UBI for giving a boost to my footballing career.

Any message to youth about how do you maintain the fitness and mental preparation to play professional football?

For the youth, I want to say never miss your training sessions and give your 200% in the field. There are no secrets to success. Its all about your hard work, preparation and always focusing on your basics. For me, meditation and yoga were helpful to maintain my fitness level.  I still keep on doing the same before matches.

For upcoming fixtures and Group table of MDFA Nadkarni Cup: Visit here

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football
Also Read: MDFA Nadkarni Cup: Air India trounce Millat FC to go on top in group C
Also Read: Dhanbad Football Academy to start new training center in Mumbai

Football Counter would love to hear your thoughts or feedback on your experience: Feedback on Football Counter experience
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

MDFA to host trials for WIFA Inter District Men’s Open Football Championship

The Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA), the governing body for football in Mumbai district is set to host their coaching camps and selection trials for the WIFA Inter District Men’s…


Trials for Inter-District Football Championship to be held on 21st December

The Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) will hold trials for the Girls-Inter District Football Championship to be held in Palghar in January 2020 Interested players must be at the venue…


MDFA Super Division side India Culture league to conduct trials

India Culture League (ICL) will be holding trials for their senior team which would be participating in MDFA Super Division The team will be playing under the guidance of Coach Mr….


Mumbai Ultras FC to conduct open trials

Mumbai Ultras FC, who will feature in the MDFA Super Division, will be conducting try-outs for city footballers this Thursday Footballers from the city and its suburbs have an opportunity to showcase…


Maurya Foundation to conduct trial for TDFA Senior Division League

Maurya Foundation has announced that they will be conducting trials for the upcoming Thane District football Association Senior Division league on 23rd & 24th November 2019. The trials will go underway…


Sportsfort Academy to host trials for age group 6-16

Mumbai based Sportsfort Academy to conduct trials for age groups category (U-6 to U-16) on 2nd and 3rd November.  Sportsfort Academy is a high excellence and premium academy aimed at…


MDFA Elite side Kenkre Football Club to host trials for 2019-20 Season

Kenkre Football Club will host their trials for the 2019-20 season on 22nd and 24th of October 2019. Over the years, Kenkre Football Club has become one of the top…


Wadoo Football School to organize football trials for girls for MDFA & WIFA Women’s League

Wadoo Football School of Excellence will organize their football trials for girls. The academy is owned by former Indian footballer, Mr Mehrajuddin Wadoo. The trial is scheduled for creating a…


Bank of India to conduct trials for upcoming season

MDFA Elite Division side Bank of India will be conducting trials for its upcoming 2019-20 season in Mumbai league football After suffering a disappointing campaign last season where the club finished…


Baroda Football Academy to conduct trials for womens team

Baroda Football Academy to conduct trials for their women’s team to participate in upcoming U17 Women’s league and Hero IWL Formed in the year 2008 BFA – Baroda Football Academy…