Iconic Indian goalkeeper, Subrata Paul lauded the fellow countryman Gurpreet Sandhu for his outstanding goalkeeping skills and assured that latter will win several accolades for India in the coming future including the fourth highest civilian award “Padma Shri”.
In a live chat with AIFF TV, Subrata congratulated Gurpreet for “winning the Arjuna Award and the ISL Golden Glove.”
“I have seen the hard work he puts in. He has always been eager to learn and has always learnt from his mistakes, and has continued to grow. He is still young and has lot many years left in his playing career,” He said
“I hope he keeps his head down and continues the hard work. I wish him good luck for the future. May you win more Golden Gloves, Player of the Year awards and I hope you be the first goalkeeper to win the Padma Shri. When you win anything as a goalkeeper, I feel proud. I am very happy to see the younger generation do well,” he added.
Gurpreet debuted for India in 2011 AFC cup in the same tournament where Subrata Paul delivered one of his best performance for the country and won the hearts of all football fans. He earned the nickname “Spiderman” after that tournament.
“He was my roommate in 2011. From day one his never-say-die attitude stood out for me. I saw that he was always trying to learn. He has his idols but he does things his own way and doesn’t copy anyone, which I respect. We have a lot in common, in terms of mentality,” Subrata said.
They have also played for the European clubs. Subrata played for the Danish club FC Vestsjaelland in 2014 and Gurpreet spending three seasons in Norway with Stabaek FC.
He lauded Gurpreet after his stint with the European Club as the latter evolved as a different player after that brief stint with the European club.
“When he was in Norway, I was in Denmark. He used to ask me about the atmosphere, climate, football culture, etc. I know how difficult it is — when you are not getting matches, only training and playing reserve matches, with weather as cold as -10 degree or -12 degree Celsius. However, he fought day-by-day in tough conditions,” Subrata said.
He also talked about the changes and challenges of modern-day goalkeeping and also what skills do young goalkeeper needs to
do well at the international level.
“If you are a young goalkeeper I would advise you to train your basics such as catching and shot-stopping. You also have to develop your ability to play with your feet. If you want to play at the highest level, you have to be good with both your feet,” He concluded.
Subrata currently plays for Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League. He also had a brief stint with top Indian clubs like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Prayag United in the past.