Soccernama: European Summer for Indian Footballers
Earlier this year we announced that Anglian was going to bring European leagues closer to Indian footballers. Barely 6 months have passed since then and it has been raining trials at European clubs for Indian footballers. This summer has seen 6 Indian players training with European clubs to improve their skills and their future prospects with a possibility of being picked up by the invitee club.
The most significant European move is that of Sunil Chhetri, captain of the Indian football team, who was selected by the Sporting Lisbon “B” team. Sporting Lisbon is a powerhouse of Portuguese football as players like Ronaldo, Figo and Nani have played for the main Sporting Lisbon team during the early stages of their career.
It is not just the captain of the Indian team who is flying high but even our goalkeepers have impressed two European teams. India junior Goal Keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is on trial at English Premier League team Wigan Athletic. The trial has been made possible by former English goalkeeper and Ten Sports pundit John ‘Budgie’ Burridge, who saw Gurpreet at a Team India training camp in Dubai. He saw the spark in him which he thought could make him a Premier League goalkeeper and since then has remained in touch with the boy from Mohali in Punjab.
The Indian senior team Goal Keeper Subrata Pal who plays for Pune FC has gone for a trial to Germany with German fourth Division (Regionalliga Nordost) club RB Leipzig. The club is owned by Austrian energy drink maker Red Bull, whose Indian division made this trial possible.
Finally, three players from I-League club, Shillong Lajong FC, have gone to Danish 1st division club FC Vestsjælland for a 2-week training stint. Both clubs have been invested in by Anglian Holdings, a young and dynamic multi-national company with a keen interest in sports that is working towards the development of Indian football along with it’s partner clubs. The three boys are Eugeneson Lyngdoh a 25 year old Midfielder, Lalramluaha a 21 year old Midfielder and 21 year old Goal Keeper Ralte. The boys are enjoying the training sessions and making full use of it. They have also managed to impress the FC Vestsjælland coaching staff.
This is the first time that 6 Indian football players are in Europe for trials and training with European clubs. Indian football is surely on the verge of making it internationally with such opportunities coming to Indian footballers. We at Anglian are hoping that Indian footballers can take full advantage of such opportunities to improve their skills and conditioning as well as get important international exposure.
In addition to Indians, Persons of Indian Origin (“PIO”s) are also making waves on the international football circuit as well. Recently, Netan Sansara was signed by FC Vestsjælland. In addition, Luciano Narsingh signed for PSV Eindhoven, while Harmeet Singh joined Feyenoord Rotterdam and Shawn Singh signed for Sporting Kansas City.
Although Indian football has a long way to go to match up to international standards, it looks like the talent is finally getting much needed opportunities to train in Europe. Our future lies in our talent and if this bunch of players manages to prove their mettle, they will pave the way for a whole new wave of Indian players ready to take on the world. We wish them all the best in their journeys!
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