We're excited for fans' return to the stadium: Hyderabad FC’s Bartholomew Ogbeche and Chinglensana Singh
A sea of yellow will welcome both Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters FC when the two teams donning similar colors will face off at the PJN Stadium in Goa aspiring to crown their respective seasons with a Hero Indian Super League (ISL) trophy in the final on Sunday.
Ahead of their Hero ISL 2021-22 final clash against Kerala Blasters, Hyderabad FC players Bartholomew Ogbeche and Chinglensana Singh heaped praises on their side for a stellar show this season, and expressed excitement both at the return of fans to the stadium for the final.
Ogbeche and Chinglensana Singh addressed the media during a press conference. Here are the excerpts:
You (Bartholomew Ogbeche) had a fantastic this season. What convinced you to join Hyderabad FC and what did the coach tell you before signing for HFC?
Ogbeche: I don't think I had a fantastic season, I can say that when we end up lifting the trophy. Till now, I can say I had a good season, but hopefully, I’ll say I had a fantastic season if we win the title on Sunday. Upon joining, I had a talk with the coach and he didn’t tell me anything in particular. I think he saw me play last season. They were the first one to approach me and the words that he puts pulled the perfect chords. So there wasn't anything particular expected from me. And like I said, I took my decision and I'm happy to be here.
You’re one of the three players in the Hyderabad FC camp who has played Hero ISL finals before. How are you going to share your experience among the young players in the team?
Ogbeche: I've been fortunate enough to be on the stage before. It's not an easy one and you need to earn this spot for coming this far. For the past couple of days, we’ve been dreaming of lifting the trophy. My advice to the players is to prepare for this game as if it is the last one of their lives. If we play as a team and stick to our plan, we have a lot of possibilities to be successful. But, we shouldn’t think about what happens after 90 or 120 minutes. We should just think about the game and our best games so far to lift our spirits or even things like listening to music or watching our favorite player. That was the way I prepared myself when I was fortunate enough to be the champion. That’s the best thing we can do as a team — put ourselves in the best possible situation to be successful.
As fans are coming back to the stadium. How’s inspiring it would be for the player?
Chinglensana: We’ve not played with fans in the stadiums for the last two seasons and now we’re excited. It was so good to see on the ISL’s social media handles that the tickets had been sold out. It is so motivating and I’m looking forward to tomorrow for a lot of excitement. So yes, the news that it’s sold out and that the stadium is going to be full is exciting.
Ogbeche: Yes, it’s challenging to play the last couple of seasons without them. About the news that they’re back, it’s huge and we’re excited. We want them to enjoy a good game and we’ll do our best to put on a good show for them.
How has it been leading one of the best defenses of the league as you’re partnering with Juanan?
Chinglensana: For us, it's more of a unit. We work as a team. From Barth at the front to the goalkeeper. So it's teamwork, just not the back four. But yes, partnering with Juanan has been a great experience and he is a proven player in the league and one of the elite defenders. So I've learned a lot from him regarding the game, as well as other things. He has been very helpful and it’s been a successful season for him and the team as well.