Aakash Sangwan interview: ‘Want to make most of every training session and grow as a player’

Aakash Sangwan has had to wait to make his way into the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). The left-back from Haryana is about to fulfil his dream of playing in the top flight as Chennaiyin FC take on ATK Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake stadium on Monday.

Sangwan, although on the cusp of being a Hero ISL debutant, comes in with a lot of experience despite just being 26.

He has played six seasons in the Hero I-League with teams like Minerva Punjab, Churchill Brothers and RoundGlass Punjab FC. He won the Hero I-League with Minerva Punjab in 2017-18 and hasn’t looked back since.

Sangwan was signed by Chennaiyin FC as part of a major squad overhaul that saw the club sign young players hungry for success. The 26-year-old certainly fitted the bill and will now be looking to put all his experience into play in the Hero ISL.

Sangwan spoke to indiansuperleague.com in an exclusive interview ahead of the new season.

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

How has the transition from RoundGlass Punjab FC to Chennaiyin FC been like? How excited are you for your Hero ISL debut?

It has been pretty smooth till now, it's definitely a step up in my career so I want to make the most of every day here and learn and grow as much as I can.

What made you choose Chennaiyin FC over other Hero ISL clubs?

I chose Chennaiyin FC because of all the nice things I heard about the club over the years from some of my friends and teammates. Everyone speaks highly of the club so it was an easy choice for me.

You already got your first goal involvement for Chennaiyin FC with an assist in the Durand Cup. What are your targets for the upcoming Hero ISL 2022-23 season?

Yes, I got one assist in the Durand cup, it was a really nice feeling to contribute to that game and win for the club. Going into the Hero ISL, I want to contribute with more assists and clean sheets for the team.

What are the training sessions under Thomas Brdaric like?

Training sessions are pretty intense. The coach demands a lot from his players physically and mentally and that's the way it’s supposed to be so I am having fun and growing at the time.

Who’s helped you settle down at Chennaiyin FC? What is the mood in the dressing room like?

There are many people who contributed to making me comfortable at the club as a new player, but three people that really made a difference are Sajid, Thapa and Edwin.

Chennaiyin FC have quality players such as Narayan Das, Vafa Hakhamaneshi, Fallou Diagne, and Md. Sajid Dhot in the defence. What is the one thing you would look forward to while playing alongside them?

Yes, there are a lot of amazing players with a ton of experience in the team and it really excited me to train and play alongside them every day, along with trying my best to learn from these players in any way possible.

With fans back in the stands at the JLN stadium in Chennai, how excited are you to perform in front of them and what are your messages to them ahead of the new season?

Getting back to a normal season with home and away games was much needed after these last two seasons with the bio bubble. It's a totally different feeling to play in front of your home crowd and I am super excited to feel it for the very first time with Chennaiyin FC. My message to the home fans is that we will give our best to make it a pleasant season for you guys, so please come and support us.

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