HomeKreedOn CandidsMeet Naro Hari Srestha – The Leading Goal Scorer of National Games...

Meet Naro Hari Srestha – The Leading Goal Scorer of National Games 2022 – KreedOn Candids

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The Introduction

Naro Hari Srestha’s name has hogged the spotlight after Bengal clinched gold in the recently-concluded National Games in Gujarat. The striker, having scored four goals for Bengal has been the top scorer in the competition. The 26-year-old striker also has experience of playing main-stream football. Naro Hari was in the national team for the under-19 AFC Championship although he could not get an opportunity to play any match. He also has experience of playing I-League matches for DSK Shivajians and Mohun Bagan. Naro Hari represented Calcutta Customs this year and showed impressive performance in the Kolkata Premier League.

The Journey of Naro Hari

Naro Hari started playing for the East Bengal junior team. The former East Bengal defender Abhishek Das pushed him to appear for trials in the junior India team. After the end of the under-19 AFC Championship, Naro Hari joined Salgaocar junior team and was finally promoted to Salgaocar senior side. However, Naro Hari’s debut in the I-League was made in 2016-17 for DSK Shivajions against Shilong Lajong FC. He also played for Mohun Bagan in 2017-18. Talking over the phone, the striker informed “Under Sanjoy Sen’s coaching I took part in a couple of matches in the I-League that year.”

Influence of Colin Toal on Naro Hari

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Naro still has not forgotten his days in the junior national camp. He described,

“Whatever the basics of the game I have learnt are from our British coach Colin Toal who was the chief coach of the junior national team. I did not know anything. He taught us the basics and even guided us to read books on the game that helped us to gain knowledge. He was an excellent human being.”

The Best Memorable Matches

Naro, commenting on his most memorable matches so far, mentioned his debut match in the I-League for Shivajians is still memorable. Otherwise, his most cherishing performance has been in the National Games. He explained,

“We had to play against a lot of odds. In the semifinal against the Services, the referee was so biased that he continued the match for 13 minutes additional time even after the regulation 90 minutes. Not only this, our lone scorer in the match Surajit Hasda got seriously injured during the match, and the referee rushed toward him and ordered him immediately to leave the ground. He even threatened that he would show a yellow card if Surajit does not leave the ground. So, despite having faced these unlawful obstructions we were able to win the match and reached the final. Most of us were from Calcutta Customs and we proved our mettle in the National Games.” The striker also had praise for the team’s coach Biswajit Bhattacharya as he stated, “Biswajit sir can make superb strategy and he knows our ability very well. So, his plans clicked in the competition.”

The Controversy on the team’s return

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Naro refuted the issue where IFA has been alleged of neglecting the gold-medal winning Bengal team as they had to return via train from Gujarat instead of flight. Hari said,

“The controversy has been created by the media unnecessarily. A few senior footballers in the team including me had proposed to IFA secretary Anirban Dutta that we would return to Kolkata via train. Then the IFA secretary promised us that a hefty amount of cash incentives would be given to all of us in a function. I have heard that it will take place on 21st October.”

The prospect

Naro Hari is expecting a jump in his career after this success. He said,

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“Some preliminary negotiations are going on. I might go outside Bengal to join any club next season. But my desire is to play in the ISL.” 


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