Soon after, his career faced a jolt when he injured himself in the CFL 2017-18.
The 22-year-old Mumbai-based player Nikhil Poojary made his professional debut for East Bengal in the 2016-17 season before making his international debut for India U-23 National Team in the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers in Doha where his sparkling performance down the flanks earned him huge plaudits. Soon after, his career faced a jolt when he injured himself in the CFL 2017-18.
“After the eventful 2016-17 season, I hit the rock owing to the injury next season. Initially, I didn't have the slightest idea how serious the injury was. But the MRI report showed that there was a tear, turning out to be ACL in my left leg,” Poojary informed.
“Honestly, I was not expecting to get a call-up in this camp but Coach showed his faith in me. Herein lies the challenge for me. All the boys are super-fit and I have no other option but to be on par with them. Come what may, I have to push my limits and perform well. It's a great opportunity and I would not leave this one wasted. I need to make it count,” Poojary sounded determined.
On being asked about the mood of the camp, he revealed: “Coach always prefers high-intensity games and motivates us to push more during the training sessions. I was not expecting to join the training before August 18 August but thanks to everyone's blessing and cohesive effort, I could join two weeks prior. I was nervous at the starting but after a few sessions, I started feeling positive.”
India will play their first match against Sri Lanka in the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 in Dhaka on September 5, 2018.