Sayantan MaitraI-LEAGUE Media Team
From the moment he has set foot in the Airtel I-League, he has started making his impact felt. Nigerian forward Dudu Omangbemi has played four games so far in the competition for Salgocar FC and he has scored in each one of them. Not only that, he has also been the Man of the Match on three occasions.
The 29-year-old goal-poacher earlier made his mark in the National Football League (NFL) between 2001 and 2005, when he played for Dempo, Salgaocar, and Sporting Clube de Goa respectively.
www.i-league.org caught up with the former Finnish League Cup winner (with FC Honka in 2011) to know about his journey so far in his return to Indian Football and what targets he has set for this season.
4 goals in 4 matches – what targets have you set for this season?
Goal wise, I haven’t set any target for myself this season here. I have set a target to win as many games as I can with the team and score as many goals as I can. As long as the team is winning, I am pleased with it.
What differences have you noticed between the National Football League (NFL) and the I-League?
There have been a lot of differences, at the time of National football League there was not much money then and now in I League money has flown in a lot. On top of that, the quality is greater now. Several National and Internationals players have been roped in to make the game different now.
How have you developed as a player over the years?
Tell us what you like the most about Salgaocar FC.
Appreciation. They are a team who appreciates you and respects every bit of you. They have got a bunch of talented players and great foreign players as well and the coaches and the management are nice and appreciative.
I have played with Salgaocar before while I was with Sporting Clube de Goa [during the NFL days]. I had come on loan and I will say then i did enjoy my time also with the team.
Salgaocar have always been a great team in Indian football and have always got many great talented players both foreign and local.
Any similarities you find between Nigerian football and Indian football?
I haven’t been following Nigerian football that much but I have followed India football a lot and I can tell any one can win the title here in India.
You’ve played in the Hungarian league, the Finnish league, and now you have returned to India. Where have you enjoyed playing the most?
I have enjoyed every bit of my playing in all countries I have played. However, you can’t compare European football with Indian and my time in India has been really amazing and great.
How have the fans and the teammates been?
Well I haven’t noticed any fans yet, but my team mates have been amazing, friendly and jovial. We keep joking and having fun with each other.
Who is your favourite footballer?
I have got a lot of favourite footballers, but I will only say Ronaldo of Brazil is my favourite, even though he has quit playing.
Lots of Nigerian footballers are making their mark in Indian football. what is your take on this?
I will say well done to them. I had know some before I left and the same people I knew then are still doing amazing and playing really well and doing good in their respective Clubs.
However we have got many other foreign players too from different countries, who are doing really great here.
Finally, what do you think of Salgaocar’s chances this season?
I think with the way we are performing now makes us genuine title contenders if we don’t lose any match. I know it is not easy but there is never anything impossible!