Mumbai City FC centre-back Sarthak Golui is optimistic about the immediate future of Mumbai City and Indian football as a whole, after the takeover of the Islanders by the City Football Group.
A self-confessed Manchester United pointed at how rivals Manchester City have benefited after CFG took over. They became Premier League champions four times, FA Cup winners twice and won several other titles in the last nine years.
Sarthak is hoping that Mumbai City will experience something similar. However, he is more interested in the long-term positives that could emerge out of this deal. Better facilities and improvements at the grassroots level will show that the CFG is interested in the long-term development of the sport in the financial capital of the country.
“I am excited to be a part of this team. With CFG, I hope that Mumbai football is benefited heavily in the long run. I am sure that they gave it enough thought before completing the takeover and are well aware of the potential of football in Mumbai,” he said.
“I hope that this takeover proves effective not just for Mumbai but for Indian football as well. We can see how the seven teams (Manchester City, New York City, Melbourne City, Yokohama Marinos, Sichuan Jiuniu, Girona and Montevideo City Torque) that were taken under the umbrella before us have developed very well. Manchester City has been a different team after the takeover. I hope that we will experience the same.
“I also hope that they have a long-term goal with the club and will bring about transformations in the academies, facilities and grass-root level development of the sport.
The centre-back who is also capable of playing as a right-back also voiced his welcome to ATK-Mohun Bagan. Sarthak spent two of his formative years at Mohun Bagan and is excited at the prospect of playing against his former club in the Indian Super League (ISL) in the upcoming season.
He said - “I want to wish (ATK-Mohun Bagan) a successful journey. I know the fans very well, having been part of the club for two years. I know that the emotion and passion for the game there is off the charts.
“This merger is great for Kolkata and Indian football. I am excited to go back to Kolkata – where I belong – and play against my former club, which is the biggest club in the country. Both are champions and the merged entity will be difficult to beat.
At just 22, Sarthak is very mature and has shown that he could be the face of the national team’s defence in a few years. He is thankful to Stephen Constantine and Igor Stimac for providing him with the opportunity to display his prowess and is hoping to become a regular in the international stage.
“Stephen Constantine gave me the opportunity to join the senior players after I played with the U23s. Playing at the SAFF Championship helped me a lot. Igor Stimac has been supportive since day one. And he was a centre-back too and likes to share his experiences. This really helps me and the other defenders,” he said.
“In five years from now, I see myself playing for the national team on a regular basis. I hope that dream comes true."