Jhingan: Wanted to be part of ATK Mohun Bagan FC's long-term project
Defender Sandesh Jhingan, who signed a long-term contract with ATK Mohun Bagan FC, shared his excitement at the opportunity to be a part of the club’s long-term plans in an interview with Times of India. The former Kerala Blasters FC centre-back spent six years with the Kochi giants before signing a bumper five-year deal with the Mariners having felt ‘addictive’ towards his new club’s long-term vision.
“I felt very good listening to all coaches and must thank them. That made this an even tougher call, but I eventually went with my gut feeling and said yes to ATK Mohun Bagan. The long-term vision of the club is something so addictive. When I heard the project, I wanted to be a part. It’s a fantastic project and the commitment with which they are working towards it is amazing,” the India international shared.
Since mutually parting ways with Kerala Blasters, Jhingan received offers from many top clubs. However, the defender took his time and was eventually convinced by the club hierarchy to join the Kolkata giants. “In my eight years (as a professional footballer), all decisions have been heart over mind. Some did not agree with my decisions in the past, but I’ve always been happy. Me joining ATK Mohun Bagan is part of the same thought process,” Jhingan said.
“It helped that ATK Mohun Bagan have a champion squad. They have great players and a coach who knows how to win titles. Habas understands my game and I have no doubt I will improve under him,” the 27-year-old defender added.
Jhingan opened up about his time with Kerala Blasters as well, having played in two Hero ISL finals for the club, besides also captaining the side for two seasons. After missing out on the 2019-20 season due to an injury, the defender decided that it was time for a new challenge in his career.“I remained loyal because I loved the project, the club and the fans. I’ve given my all to the club. I’ve played with stitches, concussions and muscle problems,” said Jhingan, whose jersey No 21 at the club has since been retired.
“When we parted ways, it was mutual and it was a mature decision from both ends. If my decision to leave Kerala was about money, I would have done that long ago when I had much better offers. Kerala Blasters will always remain a part of me. Nobody can take that away,” he concluded.