Rehenesh TP, the 24-year old goalkeeper of East Bengal was awarded the man-of-the-match. At the same time, Mohun Bagan custodian Debjit Majumder also had an outstanding show, rescuing his team from blushes with two brilliant saves.
Rehenesh, the goalkeeper from Kozhikode, was remembering his early days when he was a ball-boy in the matches, held at Kozhikode SAI.
Speaking after the match on Sunday, February 13, Rehenesh seemed quite emotional after having watched Bhaichung Bhutia, coming to ground in the man-of-the-award function.
The goalkeeper said: “I used to become one of the ball-boys along with other SAI boys in whatever matches took place at our SAI centre.
"The legends of Indian football IM Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri, Bhaichung Bhutia had played there on quite a few occasions.
"In spite of the fact that my grandfather used to play football in Kerala, I decided to make football as my bread and butter after having watched those legendary footballers.
"Today it has been special day for me as I took the man-of-the-match award from one of my dream footballers, Bhaichung Bhutia.”
In the team’s previous I-League match against Bengaluru FC, Rehenesh had to listen boos from the team supporters after having conceded goal.
On Sunday, Rehenesh said: “Our coach Trevor James Morgan had inspired me a lot, asking me to forget the past and get prepared for the derby. I have learnt to become calm and cool even in mental crisis from Morgan sir.”
Debjit Majumder, the goalkeeper from Mohun Bagan praised Rehenesh vehemently for his performance.
He said: “Rehenesh had wonderful performance. Thwarting Sony Norde’s flag kick over the post was awesome save. He deserved the award."
Debjit also earned applauds from the specialists for having excellent three sure saves. The former custodians like Sandip Nandy, Kalyan Chowbe who once had impressive show in derby matches opined that Debjit could also have been chosen the man-of-the-match.