The biggest positive for Indian football stays the plethora of young talent who are waiting to take the future by storm. Sandesh Jhingan, the recipient of the 2014 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year Award, feels “more confident” as a player for the recognition.
In a freewheeling interview to AIFF Media, the 21-year lad from Punjab spoke at length about whether the Award changes him or not, his versatility in defence, his contemporaries and much more.
You are the recipient of the 2014 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year Award. What is your first reaction?
It is a great honour for me. I am extremely happy to win this and it motivates me to work hard every day and be a better Player. I need to thank all my Coaches and Teammates without whose support I wouldn’t have reached here.
You were earlier awarded the Indian Super League Emerging Player Award. Have the Awards changed you?
‘Never let praise change the cause of mind’ – I am a firm believer in it. The Awards don’t make me different at all. I still have a long way to go and there are still a lot of areas which need improvement. But yeah, the Awards only makes me more confident in my abilities. That’s the sole change.
You have been versatile in defence having played in every position. Do you have any favourite position?
I am comfortable as long as I am in the Team (laughs). A Player needs to be a Coach’s man. It’s the responsibility of a Player to execute to perfection the plan of the Coach. It’s up to my Coach to decide on my position.
Is versatility your biggest asset?
Maybe yes; maybe not! In fact, it’s not fair for me to speak on that; rather it’s for my Coaches to answer and ponder on it. All I can say is that I will give my hundred percent on the field. The rest is for my Coach to decide.
How much did your ISL experience mature you as a Player?
You had to constantly perform with unprecedented consistency. Travelling was hectic and one had to adjust. You learnt something new from training every day. It was very helpful. I would like to thank Trevor Morgan and David James for helping me wherever I lagged.
The experience stays the same in the ongoing I-League. I enjoy and want to continue playing as long as I can. The bunch in Sporting Clube de Goa is a fantastic one. I am loving it.
What stay your future goals?
My goal is simple to be a regular starter for my Indian National Team. I am working hard to achieve that.
(Interview courtesy AIFF Media / Picture courtesy Sporting Clube de Goa)