Dipok Roy once used to go five kilometers from his home to the Boro Math in Nilphamari to attend practice sessions after skipping school.
Dipok, who came from low beginnings, worked as a carpenter’s helper merely to earn enough money to purchase a pair of boots. Additionally, he had to put up with the teasing of his neighbors and the chastisement of his father, who constantly urged him to prioritize his academics for a brighter future rather than trying his luck at football.
The 21-year-old forward has overcome numerous obstacles throughout his life, progressing from the Pioneer Football League to the Bangladesh Premier League, and has now been included in the Bangladesh national team’s preliminary squad for two FIFA friendlies against Afghanistan that will be played on September 4 and 7 at the Bashundhara Kings arena.
Five days into the national team’s training program under Spanish coach Javier Cabrera, Dipok could already see the differences between practicing and playing for the squad. The Sheikh Russel KC forward hopes to make the final team in order to realize his lifelong ambition.
He learned from his early struggles that he would have to put in more effort to win and maintain his spot on the national team, and the young striker is motivated to do just that.
“Once upon a time, we had nothing and were having a difficult time. But because to my football skills, I was able to buy my parents a plot of property and to buy my father a new rickshaw. I wanted to remain in the national team as long as possible when my parents and I learned that I had been selected for the squad, Dipok stated.
The youthful striker, who often comes off the bench for his BPL team, realized he would have to work harder to fulfill his ambition.
“Every club, with the exception of a handful, is in poor shape. However, the atmosphere for the national team is very different from that at the club level. Every aspect of the practice sessions, including the food, lodging, and facilities, is different. Since the facilities have improved, I am expecting that my performance will reflect that. My ultimate goal is to earn a spot on the national team.
Dipok scored four goals for Sheikh Russel last year. After playing only 13 BPL games in four seasons for Abahani, who chose him from their BPL U-18 tournament winning group in 2017, he joined the club in the 2021–22 season.
“I left Abahani in an effort to increase my playing time. As a result of my club level achievements, I was summoned to the preliminary squad, and now I have to show myself to the national team. I will do all in my power to maintain my position on the national team and shape myself into the player the coach wants me to be,” he said.
The winger feels that his pace and goal-scoring ability helped him get a call-up to the national team, and he wants to continue improving not just his strong points but also his weaknesses in national team training.
“My ability to move quickly and score goals is a strength. The young man from Dinajpur said, “Whenever I get onto the field, I am constantly focused on scoring because I know it will help me have the attention on me even if I play poorly for the most of a game.