Saurabh Meher shares journey from the backyard of Colaba to the I-League

In the City of Dreams, each individual is brought up with numerous ambitions. Similarly, in the crowded locality of Colaba, a lanky 11-year-old boy took football as his pursuit of ambition.

Mumbai’s Saurabh Meher plied his trade for the AIFF Developmental side Indian Arrows in this Hero I-League edition.  Having spent a decade with the beautiful game, Saurabh shined like a bright diamond to make his place in the Indian World Cup team. “Since childhood, I was inspired to see my brother, Harshad Meher play professional football. Looking up to him, I started to play at a backyard ground in Colaba” quipped the 20-year-old.

Little did the 11-year-old youngster playing at his backyard know, that one day, he will switch fields to script history. Saurabh donned the national colours in 2017 to represent the country at a global stage. He further went on to play for Chennaiyin FC Reserves, and currently is playing for the Indian Arrows.

Saurabh spoke about his initial struggles as a footballer with no formal training. “I was just motivated to play the game. It was my passion to be on the field and I was highly inspired to see my brother play international football” said Meher.

Speaking of his brother – Harshad played a pivotal role in shaping Saurabh’s career. Being a renowned name in the football fraternity of the country, he had a very positive impact on Saurabh’s life. Harshad Meher represented Air India for a long time. He clinched the coveted Durand Cup in 2012 with team Air India.

Harshad was able to spot Saurabh’s talent at an early stage. “When he started playing, I could see that he was keen to learn everyday. Saurabh started playing as a defensive midfielder in his early days. He was very passionate and dedicated about the game since the very first day and that has already started to bear the fruits” opined the mentor and idol of Saurabh.

Saurabh believes that there’s a huge talent pool in Mumbai. “I think we Mumbaikars are very passionate about the game. I see so many talented players around me and I believe they are waiting for an opportunity. The Mumbai supporters have a fervour about the game, and it’s a privilege to play infront of them at home. My friends, family and well-wishers come to support me in large numbers which is very motivating for me”

In terms of development of the game in his city, Saurabh hopes that Mumbai have an I-League team to support the budding talent pool. “In my opinion, I think Mumbai must have an I-League team to support young talents. Before, we had around 4 teams from Mumbai competing at the highest level, but now we don’t have any team competing in the I-League” quoted Saurabh. However, he also spoke about the developing football culture and awareness in the city, which is a very positive sign for one and all.

“I idolize Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, and Subhasish Bose from the National Team and wish to be like them in the near future” concluded the World Cupper and the I-League player.

 


Also Read: Legend PK Banerjee dies aged 83

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football


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