LNTUP

Dempo legend Samir Naik hangs his boots after an illustrious footballing career

Photo: AIFF
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Samir Naik has put an end to his footballing career after a record 18 successive season at Dempo Sports Club and will pursue his career as a football coach.

The former India captain has been named as the club’s chief coach for this season.

The talented full back joined Dempo in 1999 as a striker but Iranian coach Ahmad Sanjari saw his potential at the backline and moulded him as a defender. Samir initially struggled to adjust and found himself out of position as his basic tendency was to be in opposition’s half but soon he found feet at the back and became a stalwart of Dempo’s all conquering side which won a record five National Football league/ I- League titles

Samir, 37, spent 18 successive years at Dempo and earned himself a place among the club legends, ahead of stalwarts like Camilo Gonsalves (17 years), Mahesh Lotlikar (16 years), Nicholas Pereira (15 years), Mauricio Afonso (15 years) and Clifford Miranda (15 years).

Naik was also an integral part of the Indian National team and was an important member in Bob Houghton’s side which featured in the 2011 Asian Cup. He has earned 39 caps for the national team and will pursue his career as a coach.