At only 15 years old, Somaaya Mukundan has already had an illustrious football career. Appearing in India’s national Under 14’s national team and more recently as the leading goal scorer for the Under 19s Futsal champions of India, Goa, the young striker has quickly become a must-watch player in the subcontinent’s burgeoning domestic football scene.
As part of their commitment to healthy living and youth development, Karma Group has undertaken to sponsor Somaaya in her quest for glory. Given the opportunity to speak with her between a busy school and practice schedule, we couldn’t help but leap at the chance!
So Somaaya, what got you into playing soccer… sorry, football?
“I began playing football with some of the girls in school at the age of 10. I wasn’t so passionate about the game back then, I barely even watched football on television! I played all kinds of sport, football being one of them, and I just slowly began gaining interest in the game.
Was it just for fun or did you join a team?
I started playing for my school team, of which I was the captain for 3 years. I also joined a futsal academy around the same time, the Youth Futsal Academy, where I still train at along with several other kids of different age groups.
You seem to have a real passion for the game, why?
Football’s just so fun and so unique. When I’m on the pitch I’m always having fun – it’s a great feeling and one I cherish.
What does your training schedule look like week to week?
At the moment I’m training three times a week for two hours a session. Sometimes on weekends I train on my own for a couple of hours – I need to keep my skills up!
You’re a striker, why do you like playing that position most of all?
(Laughs) I love scoring goals! I’m the competitive type, so it’s simply the best position I could be in!
How did it feel to win India’s Under 19’s Futsal Championship?
That was the first tournament at national level that I had won. I was extremely overwhelmed, and getting the Best Player award of the tournament was a definite bonus, I wasn’t expecting it.
What are your plans for the future?
For now, I have my sight set on the Under 16s and then maybe the Under 19s India team. I may also move to U.K. to pursue my football further – I’m excited about the possibilities!
We’ll bring you further updates on Somaaya’s journey, watch this space!