THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu: Perfect opportunity to take the first step

Indian national team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)
Indian national team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)

The first-ever AIFF GK Introductory Certificate Course took place from October 2-4, 2020 with 30 candidates taking part in the online initiative — including Indian Senior National Team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Sharing his feedback on the three-day course, Gurpreet stated the process of learning “never stops” and termed the event as an “ideal utilization” of time.

“In such difficult times due to the pandemic, it is very important to ensure that people remain engaged and keep growing through online webinars and courses. The learning process never stops and such courses are an ideal way to utilize the time and keep everyone in check,” Gurpreet said.

The Blue Tigers custodian, who received the Arjuna Award in 2019, shared why he opted to take part in the introductory course and mentioned that it was the “perfect opportunity” to take the “first step” towards beginning the coaching pathway.

“As a player you think about what you want to do after finishing your playing career. It is inevitable. Coaching is an option I would like to have for myself in the future. Hence, I felt this is the perfect opportunity to take the first step, since completing all the courses and obtaining the licenses is a rigorous process,” he averred.

“I would like to convey my thanks to Savio sir (Head of Coach Education, AIFF), the course instructors and the federation for organizing this and giving me the opportunity to take part.”

At a webinar in July, goalkeeper Subrata Paul, fondly referred to as ‘Spiderman’, had stated that he has been doing his coaching licenses while playing and it has helped him improve his performances on the field and that he wanted to gain “as much knowledge as possible” moving forward together.

Gurpreet echoed his senior’s words, saying: “That’s exactly the logic behind doing this online course. It keeps an option open for the future and the knowledge gained helps us as players for sure. Also, as a player, it is very important to what happens behind the scenes and what our coaches are thinking.”

The online goalkeeping Introductory Certificate course is a prerequisite for the AFC Goalkeeping Level 1 Course along with AFC/AIFF C-Certificate. The instructors for the course were Dinesh Nair and Gumpe Rime, and were assisted by Rajat Guha, Raghuvir Khanolkar and Pradhyum Reddy.

Talking about the contents of the course, Gurpreet explained that it covered various aspects of coaching at the grassroots level and how there is a “great difference” between the starting and professional levels of the game.

“Basically, this was a course about grassroots coaching. We were showed how talent is identified and how you need to work with young kids. I learnt that there is a great difference between the grassroots and professional level and the approaches are very different. You have to be open, patient and cannot be very demanding as a grassroots coach as you are dealing with children,” he detailed.

The 30 participants of the course were as follows:
Radheshyam Ratansingh Rajpurohit, Abu Osama Shaikh, Arnab Bhattacharyya, Gowtham Prasanna C, Jatin Tyagi, Hashim Veeran A, Julu Purkait, Sandip Dhole, Abbas Shabbir Palitanawala, Sarfaraz Iqbal Ahmed Ansari, Abdullah Ansari, Jalesh Kunnavil Veettil, Ujwal Damodar, Jiju Raj U, Ajendra Gajendra Tripathi, Shiv Kumar, Ramen Debnath, Keisham Narayan Singh, Sameer Sajeev Kapoor, Surya Prakash, Veeresh Hareeshwar Mallabadi, Subrata Biswas, Danswrang Basumatary, Alhad Anant Joshi, Alan Nithish Anrosekumar, Gumnya Rime, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Selvam N, Navas Karanaparambil Abdulsamad, Prakash Kumar Subbaiah Kulandaivel

(AIFF Media)