Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem says he is looking forward to learning from Indian football teams senior members Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Amrinder Singh.
Moirangthem is part of the Indian extended squad gearing up for their remaining 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Doha.
“I still remember when I got the first call-up for the senior national team they [Gurpreet and Amrinder] congratulated me and the team welcomed me like a family member. They were very nice to me and told me that I have been doing well and have a lot to learn,” Moirangthem told AIFF TV.
“They keep on motivating me, help me rectify my mistakes during training and tell me what to do and what not to do, what is better for me and what’s not. It is something very important and a huge learning for me,” he said.
The 20-year-old Manipuri is a highly rated goalkeeper who starred for FC Goa in their recent Champions League campaign, but is expected to be third in the pecking order behind Sandhu and Amrinder.
Moirangthem, who was India’s goalkeeper in the 2017 FIFA under-17 World Cup, said that there is tough competition among goalkeepers to make it to the Indian team as clubs tend to prefer playing Indians, rather than foreigners, between the sticks.
“Now, we have most clubs playing with Indian goalkeepers domestically. Obviously, for a goalkeeper, it is very important to play regularly to gain confidence. Training and playing matches are totally different as when you play games, you learn a lot of things and there are many unique situations that come up in the matches. It’s a good experience for a goalkeeper to keep on playing matches consistently,” he said.