Exclusive: Ex-Bengaluru and Mumbai FC midfielder Darren Caldeira joins Chennai City FC with a hope of regaining the lost promise

Pulkit Verma  |  Tuff-Questions  |  2 Years Ago

The talented midfielder Darren Caldeira has got another chance to bell the cat at the new I-League entrants Chennai City FC. Amid uncertainties as to whether he’d be able to make it to a team in the upcoming season following a poor form at Mumbai FC, which carried on with his former club Bengaluru FC, the Mumbaikar is not ready to give up as he looks fit and ready to quiet his critics.


Making his debut with Mumbai FC in the I-League, Caldeira went on to join Air India before returning back to the Khalid Jamil coached side. He’s raised enough eyebrows in the 2012-13 season which saw Bengaluru FC make their move and sign him in what was their debut year for the Jindal Steel Works (JSW) owned team in the nation's top division. 


He spent a splendid season with the eventual Champions, playing 15 games. Having said that, his downfall and failing to make it to the first team began from there, where the whole country saw the emergence of his teammate Eugeneson Lyngdoh (Believe it or not!).


Speaking to Jersey, Darren seems quite confident and believes to be turning the circumstances upside down ahead. The 29 year old midfielder answered all of the ‘Tuff-Questions’ pertaining to the predicament he saw in the domestic circuit and what lies ahead of him:

JERSEY: How are you feeling to land from the Champions to the debutants?

DARREN: It's a great challenge and something I'm really looking forward to. BFC were debutants when I started of and we were champions. So yeah, we're just looking to give it all. Looking to give a good account of ourselves. BFC has something great going and have raised the bar in Indian football. Chennai City Fc is new but the passion shown by the coaches, the boss Rohit and everyone else in the management, they're looking to put on a good show.


JERSEY: You didn't get to play many games since you started— be it Mumbai or Bengaluru. what different are you expecting from Chennai City?

DARREN: Every team is a challenge, no place is guaranteed. So you have to train hard and give everything. I'm looking to play as many games possible and contribute towards our team getting the best results.


JERSEY: You were sent to train with Valencia U-18 while with Mahindra United, How did that exposure help you develop into a promising midfielder that you are?

DARREN: Spain has a great footballing culture. At that age, to get out there playing with and against some very talented footballers helps you build your overall game.—Technically and tactically.

JERSEY: You’ve been supported by your coach Khalid Jamil, or if said correctly he’s the man who made you. Why was there a friction between the two of you since your contract expired with relegation threatened Mumbai FC, as he made a few noisy comments about your inconsistent form?

DARREN: There was never any sort of friction between us. We've never had issues. All is well. He was the man who gave me the opportunity and I'll always be grateful for that.


JERSEY: Who in your view was better, Ashley Westwood who gave you the most matches under his era or Albert Roca who gave Bengaluru another Silverware and the AFC Runner Ups title?

DARREN: Both coaches bring plenty to the team. They have different styles, both effective. So in my opinion, both are top coaches.


JERSEY: Considering you finding your old form and Chennai City looking to sustain the League pressure, do you think you’d be able to find your National Team dream in between?

DARREN: For any player, playing for the National Team is something they dream of. My focus is  on doing the best I can and if all goes well, I’ll represent the Country.


JERSEY: You’re naturally a midfielder, but you’ve also changed your position to the center-back while in Mumbai FC. What discussion did you have with the coach about your playing position in Chennai?

DARREN: The coach here is aware of my position but if need be I'd be willing to play in whichever positions he chooses. At the end, it's for the team.


JERSEY: If not Chennai, Who’s the team you think will lift the title time season?

DARREN: The league is very unpredictable so If not Chennai, Bengaluru and both Kolkata teams, Mohun Bagan or East Bengal.


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