Interview of CK. Vineeth

1. How and where did you start playing football?

I started playing football as a young boy, as most children do in Kerala. I played football for SAI in my 11th and 12th grade and then went on to represent my college and University too. I have never had any sort of formal football training before joining SAI and never thought that I will take up football professionally.

2. Your thoughts on winning the FPAI Fans player of the year award.

It’s always great to be recognized by the FPAI. The fans have played a massive role in my performances on the pitch and it’s only right that I dedicate the awards to them. I am grateful to all my supporters for backing me throughout my career.

3. How tough was it to leave Bengaluru at the beginning of the season?

It is never easy to leave any football club more so when you have had so many great moments with them. I think I have played some of the best football of my career when I was in BFC and learnt a great lot. I am grateful to the coaches, the players and the team management for the love and respect they have shown me. However everything said and done everyone has to move on in life and I did the same when Kerala Blasters came calling.

4. Personally what targets are you setting for the upcoming season?

Honestly speaking none of my personal targets are important when it comes to the collective target of the team. As a player I would want Kerala Blasters to win the ISL. We have come agonizingly close to winning it twice. Winning the trophy would mean so much to the football crazy fans in the state. I would be really happy if could score a few goals but the team doing well in the ISL is the most important.

5. If you had to choose one moment which defines your career what would that be?

I have had many great moments on the pitch but if I had to choose one moment it would be the 2017 Federation Cup final. I have always performed at my best when I am under pressure and on that day in Cuttack it wasn’t different. There were several things happening off the pitch and when I got the chance to go out there I scored the goals which made us the champions. It was a great feeling to win the Federation cup after both the club and me had a tough season.

6. What do you do when you are not playing football?

It is no secret that I like travelling. Whenever I get any free time I set out with my bike or car to the nearest gateway. Even when I am with my team I have my camera strapped in because photography has become a big part of my life.

7. You are like a cult hero in your state with millions of followers. Your thoughts on that.

I would not call myself a cult hero but it does feel good when people recognize you for your efforts. I like bringing happiness to people. When I score I run to my fans because for me they are biggest asset for the game. We are there because of our fans. I hope that the children who look up to me know that I was one of them and if they set their hearts on something and work towards their goals they will achieve it too.

8. Your message to FPAI.

The FPAI has done a brilliant job in bringing footballers in the country closer together. The FPAI awards and match was a brilliant testimony of how close footballers have got through FPAI. Honestly it was big moment for me to be sharing the field with some of the biggest footballers who I have looked up to as a child. I am very happy to be a part of the association and would like to thank them for all their efforts towards the welfare of footballers in the country.