The Nepalese winger-turned-DJ who had dreams of becoming a soldier
Updated: Jul 18
With just a few weeks to go until the season kicks off we took the time to speak with Raptors winger, Nischal Rokka.
Hi Nischal, tell us about where you are from...
I am from Nepal, I grew up in a village called Kawasoti in the Nawalparasi district. I was born in Kathmandu but my family moved out after I was born. I grew up there, studied there, everything when I was young happened there. It is not really a village anymore, it developed a lot over the years, with more facilities. My whole family was there as I was growing up.
Why did you come to Prague?
I graduated from college and applied for University...I had some options, Portugal was the other, but in the end I decided on Prague, moving here along with my best friend - we both got into the Czech University of Life Sciences. My best friend is from the same village, same college, we played football together and now we are here in Prague together too.
How did you find out about the Raptors?
I was playing football for the Youngster Club back in Nepal and looking for a team to join in Prague but could not find anything...then I moved here and kept looking, keeping fit and training but could not find a team, then finally after a year I found the Raptors on Facebook.
Did you play sports in Nepal?
I was playing lots of sports - football, cricket & volleyball. In Nepal people follow what's going on in the media - when the cricket world cup is on everything changes and they all play cricket. Probably there is more football fans but there are lots of cricket fans too in Nepal. Even in the small villages and in the hills people play small football tournaments. Only really good players play league games in football, for amateur players it is more just tournaments.
Is the football style in Nepal different to Czech Republic?
It is all nearly 11-a-side as there are no artificial pitches for 5-a-side, so that is a little different. But in 11-a-side there are lots of foreigners playing in Nepal, lots of Africans so that has changed the style a little. Nepalese players are not physically big like in Czech Republic, but they are fast...still though they try to play physical.
How do you think the Raptors are progressing?
I am totally into this club - I believe next season again we will be challenging. The last 2 years we did really well, we have very good players and we improve our game all the time, fitness and tactics too.
What kind of player are you?
I love to play forward - striker or on the right or left wing. I was playing striker with my last team but I really love to be out wide so I can use my pace.
Is your pace your key strength?
Yes but I cannot always be so fast, I don't only play football here, I work too, so sometimes I just am not able to be fast as I get tired and need to play other ways.
Who in the squad do you enjoy to be on the pitch with?
We have so many, I enjoy playing with everyone really, we have so many good players. Of course there is GP, Jan, Lubos, Badma, Alex and also Hans - I have not played so much with Hans but I really like to play on his team when we have had the chance. With Alex it was tough because of his injury but I think we have good communication and I am looking forward to see if we play together this season.
What do you like about the Raptors?
It is like a family, the environment is really nice - as I am a family guy that is good for me, everyone is playing round, having fun. There are lots of foreign people, that makes me feel good, I like to hear about their past and places they are from. Where I grew up in Nepal there was not really any foreigners, only in the big cities or big clubs.
Did you watch the Raptors Women's team much?
I try but it is hard because often our games are on the same day but when I have seen them they have improved a lot, especially with lots of new players coming in too.
What do you do outside of Raptors?
I work in a restaurant called Vapiano - it is an Italian-style place. I cook there, mainly the pasta, sometimes pizza & salad too.
Did you always plan to be a cook?
Actually my aim was to be a soldier, I was preparing for that when in Nepal - I tried to get into the British Army but I had some fault with my teeth so I did not get selected. I tried too in India but the same problem there, and in France also, in the legion, but I did not make it there too. From my childhood I always wanted to be the soldier.
What hobbies do you have?
In the lockdown I started to learn to become a DJ...I have a friend who is a DJ and he has spent time teaching me. I have my job and the football so I cannot focus too much on it but really enjoy it. I love to play reggaeton, latino music, hip-hop & afrobeats. I am a beginner so sometimes my friend gives me a chance to play at the start of his set.
Cool, that's everything, any questions for us?
I would just like to say you guys are my favourite (Daz & Petra) plus of course little Maya and Luky too!