The systemic change brought about by Igor Stimac is a positive development for club football in the country, feels National first-choice goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
“This kind of football, which is about possession and planning the attack from the back, is not new to me as we have been doing this with Bengaluru FC in the past two seasons. The only difference is that we have a set of new players (in the national side) who need to adjust to it,” says Gurpreet, who has experienced top-level club football both in the country and in Europe.
Need to adapt
“This is a very delicate, but very important period of transition. We need to adapt to the tactical awareness provided and bring that on to the pitch,” Gurpreet said.
Gurpreet (the only Indian to play the Europa League, during his contract with top-flight Norwegian club Stabaek) says Indian football’s transition is on the right path.
“We have grown a lot in the past five years with the players from the age-group stage emerging more technically sound. Even senior players have a better mental approach after being exposed to good coaches, especially by the ISL clubs,” he says.
As someone who has seen international football from close, Gurpreet says Indian football will improve substantially when its young players start playing in good leagues abroad.
“It is very important for our young players to have a taste of the higher level, I mean European or even the bigger leagues of Asia. It is important for a player to get out of the comfort zone, because until one does so he will not realise what can make him better. That is what most of the countries in Asia, South America and Europe are doing,” he said.