Rowlin Borges: Enjoying the best moments of my career

Stephen Constantine has been vocal about performance of one particular Indian player – Rowlin Borges – in the SAFF tournament.

"Rowlin (Borges) is an exceptional talen," said Indian coach Stephen Constantine.   -  AIFF Media

Indian coach Stephen Constantine is someone who is hard to please. Not fulsome in praise, Constantine wants his players’ feet to be grounded and not carried away by adulations they receive. But Stephen Constantine has been vocal about performance of one particular Indian player – Rowlin Borges – in the tournament.

In the opening match against Sri Lanka, India struggled to gain momentum though it had more of the ball possession. Penetrating moves were rare. Constantine sent in Rowlin in the second half and the midfielder didn’t disappoint his coach. India was a transformed side from the moment Rowlin stepped on to the field.

Constantine praised Rowlin’s performance against Sri Lanka. “We started playing the ball up only after I sent in Rowlin as substitute,” he said after the match.

The coach rewarded him with a place in the starting line-up in the next match against Nepal and Rowlin lived up to his coach’s expectations by scoring a goal and providing an assist for Lallianzula Chhangte. “To me Rowlin Borges is a box to box player. He is someone who works extremely hard and covers quite a distance on the pitch. At the ISL draft I had told many to pick him up. But at that time he wasn’t good enough for all. But he was good enough for me because I always believed in the quality he possesses. Maybe, now they will pick him up,” said the coach after India’s win against Nepal.

Rowlin admitted that he was disappointed when he was not picked by ISL side but said that he had moved on and was thinking too much of what happened in the past. “I was disappointed initially but I have got over it. Now I am enjoying the best moments of my career. I am looking forward for a great final against Afghanistan on Sunday,” said the 23-year-old Goan midfielder.

Rowlin said that he was comfortable playing with Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the midfield. The two compliment each other and have good understanding. “He covers me when I move up from my position in the midfield and I do the same when he goes forward. We have good understanding. He is good player and someone whom I look up to,’’ said Rowlin, who is a great fan of Bayern Munich.

Rowlin was thankful to Indian coach Constantine for picking him in the national squad. “He is a great motivator. He keeps on telling me to work hard. I am glad I was able to meet his expectations. I first met him in Delhi as soon as he took over as Indian coach. He told me that he wanted me in the Indian team and asked me to work on my fitness and be stronger,” said Rowlin.

“It was surreal when I scored against Nepal. You always dream of scoring for India. Playing for the country was also a dream come true for me,” said Rowlin.

Rowlin who plays for Sporting Club Goa in the I-league said that he believed that India has good chance of winning the SAFF final against Afghanistan. “We are also as good as them. I believe we can also score goals and win against them,” concluded Rowlin

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