After a successful European tour, the young Indian brigade said that the tournament helped them learn to handle pressure. With two defeats in the beginning of the tournament against Belgium, India turned the tables in their favour by winning three back to back games which included two against Netherlands.
PTI spoke to forwards Gurjant Singh, Armaan Qureshi, midfielder Nilkanta Sharma, full-back Tirkey, Varun Kumar and goalkeeper Suraj Kerkera who made their debut in the tournament after being a part of last year’s junior World Cup winning team.
Armaan said, “We played together at junior level so our co-ordination was excellent. One has to be mentally and technically strong to perform at this level and victory in three games has given us that boost.”
Varun said that nobody had expected them to win agaisnt a strong team like Netherlands. “No one had imagined that we will beat The Netherlands. It was like a dream for us and we can never forget that moment. It was like a tonic for us which will have long-lasting effect.”
Keeper Suraj accepted that he was nervous in the beginning but gradually adapted to the pressure. “I was nervous in first match but gradually learnt to handle pressure. This tour will play a major role in shaping our careers,” said the Mumbai lad.
Defender Tirkey said that the competition has helped them mature for bigger tournaments later on. “Its good to have healthy competition. We have experienced the difference between playing at junior and senior level and now we will try to minimise the mistakes and become more mature,” he said.