Hyderabad: It was a challenging test for Hyderabad FC goalkeeper and skipper Kamaljit Singh when his side was playing against Bengaluru FC at GMC Balayogi Stadium on Friday night. The bottom-placed side had conceded a total of 13 goals from five matches and suffered a huge jolt when Indian star Sunil Chhetri struck a goal in the second minute.
However, the 23-year-old HFC skipper maintained his composure and saved as many as three scoring opportunities as HFC earned a 1-1 draw against defending champions, something which can boost their confidence. Despite HFC defence faltering in many occasions, it was Kamaljit who rose to the occasion in every single outing. He made a record 24 saves, the most by any goalkeeper in this edition so far.
“Kamaljit is an excellent prospect. I am sure that Igor Stimac (Indian coach) is watching his performances in the ISL. He may represent India soon,” HFC coach Phil Brown said.
Interestingly, Kamaljit made an impressive outing when he was up against Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the No.1 goalkeeper of the Indian side. Talking about his dreams of representing the country, Kamaljit sounded optimistic about his chances. “It is every footballer’s dream to represent the country. If I play well in league matches, I believe I will get the national call-up. At present, my focus is to do well in the ISL and take my team through to the semifinals.”
Kamaljit also shed light on what goes through his mind when he is playing. “A goalkeeper has to stay alert all the time. He has to be calm and composed and decision making is also important. My job is to guide the defence unit. Subrata Paul is my biggest inspiration. I admire him a lot.“
Talking about Brown’s role, Kamaljit said the team is looking to win matches for their head coach. “Our coach is a great reader of the game. He makes us feel comfortable. His training methods are different and are of world-class standards. I certainly feel that I improved a lot while training with him.”
Throwing light on the preparations before a match, Kamaljit said he warms up to fine-tune his reflexes and added that players are okay with the diet that they follow. “Everyone is aware of their bodies. We are strict with our diet. Maybe we can relish Hyderabadi Biryani after qualifying for the semifinals (laughs). I am happy that a tournament like ISL is happening in the country. I played in the I League and I liked that experience too. Any tournament which can help grow Indian football is good for the game and for aspirants like us,” Kamajit signed off with a smile.