Award Name : Arjuna Award
Year of Award : 2010
Award for : Sports and Games
Location : Noāmundi, Jharkhand, India
Deepak Mondal is an Indian professional football player currently playing for East Bengal F.C. He plays as a defender and is known for his high work rate which was rewarded with him winning Indian Player of the Year in 2002. Mondal has played for East Bengal Club, Tata Football Academy and JCT FC. He was born on 12 October 1977 in Noamundi, India. His performances for the red and gold brigade impressed many and in 2001 he made his international debut. Although not the tallest, Deepak is very good in the air but his real strength lies in the tackles and the ability to read the game and make vital interceptions. He won almost every major trophy with East Bengal including the historic ASEAN Cup. But before winning the ASEAN Cup in 2003, it was the year before that Mandal established himself as one of the best defenders of India. He was at the top of his game while playing for East Bengal but it was in the twin friendlis against Jamaica that Mandal impressed the most. He was adjudged as the 2002 AIFF Player of the Year. Mandal then moved to Mahindra United and constituted the best defence in the country along with Mahesh Gawli, N.S. Manju and Surkumar Singh. Mandal’s performances helped Mahindra win their first ever Federation Cup and National League title.
Mandal returned to Kolkata, this time signing for Mohun Bagan. In his three years with the Mariners the experienced defender has won the Federation Cup once and finished runner-up in the I-League. During Bob Houghton’s tenure he has been a regular in the squad but injuries have prevented him from earning a place in the starting eleven. Emergence of the likes of Gouramangi and Anwar, now sees Mandal being considered as fullback but his experience of representing India for nearly a decade will be very important in the Indian dressing room during Qatar 2011. In 2010, he received the Arjuna Award.