Sunil Chhetri: “If we talk to the junior players too much, they get bored.”

Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri seemed happy with the new setup and environment, emphasizing how the stadium has changed from when he visited 4 to 5 months back. While on the other hand Coach Constantine want his players to try and pursue European dreams.

When asked about his young teammates, whether they are the most talented lot, after having won their last 8 out of the 10 games, He said, “Let’s not use the word ‘most’ but this is obviously one of the most talented teams I have played in. We have Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu), Sandesh (Jhinghan), Jeje (Lalpekhlua) and all of them are fantastic. They are extremely professional off the field as well, they know how to look after themselves and that’s a good sign. I just hope that this continues. I hope I learn a lot from them, I hope they can learn from me and we go forward,”

India’s all-time leading goal scorer explained his methodology when it comes to grooming young players, “As senior players, we have understood that if we talk to the junior players too much, they get bored. I used to get bored when I was a young one. So rather be a bit professional and let them follow me. So I try to be the first on the pitch, I try to do the right thing, I try to eat the right stuff, go to sleep at the right time and I believe that if you do it, the younger ones are going to follow you. If I just keep calling them every time and keep talking to them, one day they are going to start abusing me in their minds and the following day, on my face.”

“That’s the way I have been coached by my seniors when I was younger. The Renedys (Renedy Singh), the Bhutias (Bhaichung Bhutia) were proper professionals and that’s how we learn. I think the same way should continue. That’s the way I’d like to continue.

“When you are a senior, the onus is more on you to do the right thing because the younger ones are watching you. So I try to be a good professional and hope they (juniors) follow me. And they (juniors) know that, whenever they need to talk to me, I’m always there. I want to believe that I’m quite popular amongst them,” Chhetri explained at length.

SC: Gurpreet’s future is in Europe

Gurpreet singh Sandhu

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu practicing 2 days before INDvPUR friendly.

Asked about Gurpreet’s Opinion on the Indian board’s attempts to synchronizing the football calendar, he said he is happy to see that there are attempts being made and plans being implanted, which is a good sign going forward. When asked about what changes he has seen in gurpreet game after he became the first player to play in Europa league, SC said, that he has done tremendous job with his game and lasting 3 years in Norway that his future is in Europe and he doesn’t expect him to be back, SC also emphasized that he would want himself to be out playing in Europe If he were an Indian player for his own betterment. Also SC believed that, “India can play outside in Europe and more Indian players should try to go outside because I have coach quite a no. places around the world and that there is nothing they should be afraid of in terms of ability.” SC also smoothly brought out the PIO issue that how countries like England are trying to play players of their origin for their team and India should look in to the PIOs, while also saying that is something Modi should be questioned.

An Important Game

The former Indian skipper also spoke on the importance of playing teams with a higher ranked teams like Puerto Rico.

“How much important it is for them (youngsters), you have to ask them, but how important it is for us? It is important because, when you want to improve, you got to test yourself now and then. So when you do well and when you get a higher ranked team, you will know how much you have improved or how many things you have done wrong or where you can improve.

“It’s a very good chance for me as an individual and for the whole team to look at how much we have achieved and to work on our mistakes. So it’s very important for us to play higher ranked teams, in that context,” he concluded.

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