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Santosh Trophy in Riyadh opens up more opportunities for him, hopes Karnataka skipper Karthik Govindswamy

Having played in the top-flight Indian Super League for FC Pune City for a few seasons before the franchise owned by Rajesh Wadhawan Group along with actor Arjun Kapoor disbanded itself in 2019. Karthik Govindswamy also played in the I-League for a few seasons before his contracts ran out and the 28-year-old has to play in the Bengaluru City league and the Santosh Trophy for Karnataka.

Currently, he is representing Sporting Club, Bangalore, which emerged as Bangalore Division League champion this year and will be playing in qualifiers for the I-League Second Division next season.

Having lost his pre-eminent position as an ISL and I-League player, Karthik is currently captaining Karnataka in the knockout rounds of the 76th National Football Championships for the Santosh Trophy here in Riyadh. He will be leading Karnataka in the semifinal against Services at the King Fahd International Football Stadium here on Wednesday.

Having played at the top level of Indian football, what motivates Karthik to do well in this edition of the Santosh Trophy in Riyadh is the hope to get a government job because of his good performance.

Son of an autorickshaw driver, Karthik lost both his parents in 2016 when he was playing for FC Pune City in ISL. He now has an elder brother who works for a private company in Bengaluru. Having followed in the footsteps of his elder brother who played football till the state level, Karthik now hopes that the opportunity to play in Santosh Trophy in Saudi Arabia would bag him a job and help him settle down,

At 28, this is one of the few opportunities that players like Karthik will get. He discontinued his studies after appearing for his 12th-class exams and also rejected job offers a few years back as he wanted to play in ISL and I-League.

"At that time I did not pursue the job offers because of my passion to play football professionally. Now I am hoping that my performance in Santosh Trophy in Riyadh will get noticed because the matches are going to get more eyeballs and I get a job," Karthik told reporters on the eve of the crucial semifinal match.

Helping Karnataka reach the final with a win against Services is likely to open up an opportunity for the likes of Karthik and the likes.



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