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This Chap has lots to offer 

February 02, 1998 

The Indian Express 

Carlton chapman often vindicates a popular football cliche which goes: ``A goal makes you a hero.''But one goal stands out in the memory and the FC Kochin midfielder vividly remembers the moment that launched him to stardom.In the dying minutes of an Asian Cup Winners Cup match in 1993, the young medio floored Iraq's Al-Zavra with a spectacular strike to conjure up a famous win for Calcutta's East Bengal. Twenty-seven-year-old Chapman, fondly recollects the goal and as he does, draws inspiration to fuel his quest of offering the best he can to the world's most popular sport. Carlton Anthony Chapman, who was born into a football-loving family in Austin Town, Bangalore, took to the sport at the age of nine. His development, however, was somewhat overshadowed by the exploits of his very talented elder brother and two younger brothers. But Chapman, known as `Carl' to his family, would not be kept down. Carl learnt and mastered what has now grown to be sublime skills by observing his idol-- Argentine star Deigo Maradona -- on television and within time, caught the eye. He was picked by Olympian coach Ahmed Hussain for a Sports Authority of India (SAI) programme when he was in St Patrick's High School. After a stint at SAI, Bangalore, where friends called him `Chap', he joined the Tata Football Academy (TFA) under Shamul Ghosh. He underwent training along with Aloke Das, Gautam Ghosh and Nickson. ``As the season ended, leading clubs converged to recruit TFA boys. I was approached by East Bengal. The offer was good, so I joined them,'' said Chapman, who was here to play in the National Football League, while  speaking to Express Newsline After two productive seasons with East Bengal, Chapman joined Jagajit Cotton Textiles (JCT), Phagwara in 1995 where he had Sukhwinder Singh as his trainer. The next season, JCT, with a line-up that included I M Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri, Bhaichung Bhutia, Tejinder Kumar, Rampal `Fauji' and Nigerians Stephen Abrawoie and Bernard, won the IFA Shieldand the first Philips National Football League.``When FC Kochin officials approached me to play along with I M Vijayan, Ancheri and Raman Vijayan, I did not hesitate to sign up as we were all setting a new trend of professional football,'' said the India captain. Chapman has been a regular member of the Indian team since 1993 and has played in all tournaments that India has participated in, including the SAFF Cup, Saarc and the Nehru Cup. He first donned the India colours against Sri Lanka in the Saarc tournament match at Dhaka in 1993. Chap rates Maradona as his all-time favourite and he always wanted to meet the Argentine superstar. ``During the off-season, I play cricket and basketball and watch tennis star Pete Sampras on TV,'' he said about his favourite sportsmen outside football. A penchant for music serves to unwind after the grind and toil on the pitch -- his all-time favourite song is Last Christmas by George Michael. And by the time Christmas comes round again, one wagers a lotmore will have been heard about Carl and the beautiful game.

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