Q&A session with Manas Dubey

Manas Dubey, born on 8th October 2001 plays for Hyderabad FC II as a goalkeeper. He had previously played for Pune City FC U-18. Manas answered to a few questions that were asked to him during a Q&A session. The Q&A’s are as follows: Q) Which is your favourite Football moment from your school? A) My favourite footballing memories from my schooling days were a couple of years back. It was an under-16 district level tournament. Our opening game was against the host team who were also deemed as the contenders for the championship. We were pretty decent side as well. So, the game started off pretty feisty and we got a red card by the end of first half which kept us at the back foot for a while but we held on. The game went on to penalties after 0-0 at full time & in the penalties I made two decisive saves which were very crucial & very special because it had attracted a lot of crowd at the side-lines. The whole school was there and so were the boys and girls from our school from other categories. So those 2 penalty saves lead us to the victory & which is why it makes this match my favourite moment from my schooling days. Q) If you had to play at any other position other than Goalkeeper, where do you think you'd play the best? A) I feel if I was not a goalkeeper I’d play best at centre-back. I started playing football at that position & also love slide tackling a lot. I feel that I’ve got a very good physical and aerial presence which would make me a good centre-back. Q) What aspect motivated you to leave the main stream & choose football as your career? A) The biggest aspect which motivated me to take football as a professional career instead of the stream was simply the passion and the desire which I had for the game ever since I was introduced to it. Up until my 9th grade I was study oriented & was deemed to be an aspiring IIT’ian because most of my elder cousins are from that background, but deep inside knew where my passion lies & I also trusted myself completely because I knew that with the work ethic & hard work I would make a professional which is why I never doubted my capabilities & always showed faith in myself. So I talked to my parents regarding it & they were very supportive of it. They knew how determined I was towards it which is why they wanted me to give it a shot & as well as my teachers they were very kind & supportive of me. They helped me a lot through my journey because during my 10th board examinations I would have training twice a day which is why I couldn’t attend a single day of schooling. They helped me a lot by volunteering for extra lessons, explaining stuffs & concepts to me which is why I’m very grateful & blessed to have them & my principal who were very supportive of it. All of this combined makes me feel that it was the best decision I took & yeah there’s never been a looking back ever since. Q) What in your opinion makes an excellent Football player? A) I feel the pedigree of an excellent football player lies in some very crucial aspects which are their determination, their passion & their work ethic. Most importantly what I feel is their discipline on and off the pitch because some young players these days have the mentality that if they are working hard on the training pitch that’s enough for them to do so. But in reality what makes the difference between good players & excellent is how they conduct themselves of the pitch, taking care of their nutrition, rest & recovery. I feel that it’s a very crucial aspect because it also determines how you are & who you are as a personality which also makes an excellent player. From my personal experience I also feel that there’s a factor which is very often overlooked by a lot of young & budding players which is mental fitness but it is a very crucial part of the game because mental fitness deals with how you take situations & rejections or anything negative (ex: you don’t get selected in a trial or lose an important game) so being composed & being calm during these times is very crucial & that’s how it plays if your mental fitness is good enough or not? Some players might just want to give up on it or some players just take it too hard than it should be. Excellent players have got their mental fitness right, giving a go to meditation, yoga & keeping their mind at a certain place. They don’t go for the temporary defeats & rejections because they know that in the longer run they are going to get way better them & achieve a lot better which is why they don’t give up & they keep on going. Q) How long will it take me to learn to juggle? A) In reality, juggling is one of the most basic footballing skills which any outfield player can have. I feel personally that it’s one of the most under-rated skills because it helps an outfield player. It has a lot of benefits as it improves their first touch, how comfortable they are with the ball & the ball control which is why I feel that even a lot of pro players keep going, going & improving them. For me personally when I started playing I couldn’t even juggle the ball for more than 5 or 6 times for days & weeks. But then there is no secret tip or mantra, you just have to practice it as much as you can. That’s what I did. In 2-3 weeks you should get a good knack of it. Q) How to practice 1v1 situation as a Goalkeeper? A) I feel the biggest aspect in a 1v1 situation for a goalkeeper is to be very sharp & decisive by understanding the situation of play. That if he wants to hold his lines & have his defenders drop back or probably make a block (reaction save) or if he wants to go for the ball hoping that he gets the ball & not concede a foul. So the 1v1 situation could be basically broken down in 2 scenarios. The first scenario being when the striker has the complete control of the ball, it can probably be a defensive mistake or a miss pass which allows just the striker being with a goalkeeper in a 1v1 situation. So what I like to do in this type of a scenario is apply a fast approach & a slower arrival method by which I mean is that I decide to cover as much ground I can being as quick as possible & then I like to keep a distance of about 2-3 yards from the striker. I just want to make sure that I’m set when he is about to shoot because that is very important, because if you are running or your legs are not planted on the grass while he is about to shoot then you will probably have it difficult to save or anything like that. The second scenario being that if there is a through ball from the opponents attacking midfielder & the ball is 50-50 between the goalkeeper & the striker. So if I know that I’m high on my line & then I can probably get the ball. I’ll just run as fast as possible & grasp the ball before the striker does. In this situation you need to be very decisive & you can’t be double minded. If you plan to go for the ball you have to go all guns blazing there is no turning back after that. By the way, if you are too late on the ball then you might concede a penalty or he might get to the ball before you & trickle down the ball into the goal. I feel that being very decisive & having a cool & compose mind-set during a 1v1 situation is what makes a very good goalkeeper who can pull off a 1v1 situation when the team needs it the most. Q) How do you deal with corner kicks? A) Corner kicks for any goalkeeper is a very crucial & important aspect of his game because a lot of teams believe in set pieces for scoring a goal and very curated which is why a goalkeeper always needs to have his theory & his concepts right. I being a tall goalkeeper have always had it as one of my strengths. So basically what I like to do for corner kicks is, if it’s an in swinging corner by which I mean if the ball is going to curl inwards towards my goal, then I like to stay behind my lines & I like to keep two men on both my posts, covering my posts because that allows me probably to go out to gather the ball or to punch it out when required. In the other scenario if it’s an out swinging corner by which I mean if the ball is curling outward towards the 18-yard box. I like to keep one man on the first post & I like to keep my second post empty because I get more time to recover & set myself in a better way when it’s outgoing. I can lateral shuffle myself towards my right or my left faster & quicker than an in swinging one which is why I feel that second post is not necessary instead there can be an extra man-marker inside the box because I have enough time to set myself & face the corner. Q) Which abroad team do you want your next move to be? A) The abroad move which I would want for myself will always be to Stamford Bridge to play for Chelsea because ever since I was a kid & ever since I started watching football I’ve supported them throughout & it is my dream to play for Chelsea & it is always been the way. I’m looking forward to working hard to one day being there & playing at Stamford Bridge. Q) Which European club do you support? A) The European club I support has been Chelsea ever since I started watching the game. I’ve supported Chelsea from the times of Frank Lampard & Didier Drogba playing. My first game watching them was the 2012 Champions League Final against Bayern Munich when we won & I’ve been a Chelsea blue ever since. Visit Manas's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/manas_dubey01/?hl=en #Goalkeeper #Chelsea #UEFAChampionsLeague #Football #ManasDubey #FrankLampard #DidierDrogba #BayernMunich #StamfordBridge #Juggling #1v1 #Hyderabadfc #FCPuneCity https://www.instagram.com/manas_dubey01/?hl=en

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