Gurpreet Singh urges Indian footballers to go abroad

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Gurpreet Singh urges Indian footballers to go abroad

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SportsCafe Desk

12/28/2016

Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who is playing for Norwegian club Stabaek, has urged the budding footballers to move abroad in order to get the right coaching they need. The 24-year-old has also stressed on the need of a 10-month long domestic league for the players to raise their level.

"I don't care what you call it. I don't care if the merged league is called the I-League or ISL or SFL. We want a proper 9-10 month league, where players get to train for 4-5 days and play every weekend. That's how you can raise your level.

"I don't care what you call it. I don't care if the merged league is called the I-League or ISL or SFL. We want a proper 9-10 month league, where players get to train for 4-5 days and play every weekend. That's how you can raise your level," Gurpreet told TOI on Tuesday when asked about what should be the structure of the major league in India. Gurpreet was in the Capital for the launch event of 2017 I-League,” Gurpreet told TOI on Tuesday.

The former East Bengal custodian also believes that India is capable of producing quality footballers, just that the system in place is not conducive to that.

"Players in India are not bad. They don't get the right kind of nurturing or coaching at the right time and age. We have 1.25 billion people. We can easily produce so many good players. We don't have the right system in place. Unless we have a set system, it will be wrong and difficult to compare the level of players from the two countries (India and Norway).When I was in the U-17 squad, we were as good as the players from Europe. We played against Manchester United and Everton and beat and drew with them. After that there is a gap and that gap makes a big difference between our players and their players," he explained.

Gurpreet, who became the first Indian to play in the Europa League earlier this year, has also cited his example and has urged Indian footballers to move abroad. He said, "That's the only thing we should do. I don't want to sound cocky. Use me as an example. That's the reason I did it. I wanted to show people it's not impossible if you do the right things. This is going to happen. You're going to develop physically and mentally,” reported ToI.

The goalkeeper has also received a lot of praise from Sunil Chhetri. The Bengaluru FC skipper said, "If a player has reached a certain level where he thinks he can improve more then he should definitely go. If you have offers, please take it. Go a level up. Try yourself. I am proud of Sandhu."

Chhetri has also stressed on the need to play more friendlies for the national team. He said, "I want to play all 13 dates. We as a nation need that. We need to play on friendly dates. That's where the unified league will come in handy . It will help us plan and prioritize these 13 days so that the national team gets a chance.We don't play , we don't have a chance to improve our ranking or playing with bigger opponents."  

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