FC Bengaluru United’s John Peter shares his insights on Hero 2nd Division I-League Qualifiers

FCBU are bringing out the talent in local boys” says Santosh Trophy winner, John Peter, ahead of the Hero 2nd Division I-League Qualifiers 

John Peter is having a year for the books. The Bangalore-born defender who plays for FC Bengaluru United was a key component of the Karnataka State Football team that brought home the Santosh Trophy after 55 years. He followed it up with a successful campaign in the recently recommenced Stafford Challenge Cup, where FC Bengaluru emerged as the first Champions in over 30 years.

He has been a consistent part of the rapidly growing football ecosystem in Karnataka. With appearances in 5 editions of the Santosh Trophy, despite being only 26, he is almost a veteran. He shared his thoughts on the Santosh Trophy Campaign, The Stafford Cup success, his experience at FCBU, the impact of professional teams like FCBU on the Karnataka Football circuit and his thoughts on his team’s prospects at the Hero 2nd Division I League Qualifiers that is currently underway in Bengaluru. 

With both Trophies under his belt, John Peter says his confidence is at an all-time high “I am feeling very confident after the Santosh Trophy and the Stafford Cup. I think we played very well in the Stafford Cup and we definitely have what it takes to succeed in the Hero 2nd Division I league qualifiers.” Reflecting on their loss against Bengaluru FC in their first clash of the I-league qualifiers campaign he said, “Sometimes when a new tournament starts, it takes some time for the team to settle, but now the boys are settled down and feel confident.” He further credited new coach Fernando Varela for keeping the squad’s morale high, “We have been spending a lot of time reviewing our errors from the previous game with Coach, and hopefully we can execute based on the lessons we learned from our first game. I think Coach has really motivated us to keep moving forward.” 

John Peter joined FCBU in January this year and he attributed his swift acclimatization to the team management, “The coaches, the players, the support staff and the management have been doing a tremendous job of making players feel at home. Our bond as a unit is strengthening with each passing day”  John Peter has played in the Karnataka Super Division for several years but opines that his time in FC Bengaluru United feels different, primarily because the players are empowered with all the modern-day resources they need. “The atmosphere is very different; “I feel like I am in an ISL club. The level of professionalism is very high. There is a huge focus on recovery, physiotherapy, nutrition and mindset. I have been at State Champion clubs in the past, but nothing like this,” 

In the past few years, Karnataka have featured as semi-finalist in the Santosh Trophy. This year, they finally broke through to bring home the coveted National Championship (Santosh Trophy) and John feels this is a result of a strong local circuit of football teams and in particular the quality of local players in the state. “The Karnataka Super Division has become extremely competitive, there are no games that you can take for granted. Teams like FCBU really contribute towards this level of competition, this year we have around seven or eight boys from Bangalore on the team and FCBU is doing a great job of bringing out the talent in local boys and giving them a platform to perform.” 

He further emphasized that when the players are exposed to the level of professionalism in FCBU, it serves as a knowledge transfer that has a trickle-down effect across the ecosystem. “The whole squad is learning so much and this knowledge is something that we will take with us if we move on to other clubs. This year the Karnataka State Team operated optimally, “there was a huge focus on things like recovery, motivation and mindset. I think this because clubs like FCBU push the bar higher and higher” 

FCBU will resume their HERO 2nd Division I-League campaign against RKM FC on the 18th of March at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

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