Gursimrat Singh Gill – Albert Roca turned me from a boy to player

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Gursimrat Singh Gill, a name from Sudeva Delhi FC was a regular starter and the key man in defence eventually just missed one I-League match of last season. He captained the team four times in the I-League and also scored once against Neroca.

Recently in an interview with IFTWC, Gursimrat spoke about his football journey till now where he feels he is still in search of his own best and looks forward to improving more.

Gill was born in Sarabha, a village located in the Ludhiana district of Punjab. Later, he joined Chandigarh Football academy and also made his steps towards AIFF Elite academy.

I played football since my childhood and the game followed me. I was 9 years old when I joined Chandigarh Football academy. I learned the basic’s under the guidance of former Indian National team captain Harjinder Singh, who made football our friend.

“In AIFF Elite academy we learned other aspects of the game more tactically and it was a much bigger exposer for us as we played a lot of domestic as well as international games which shaped me into what I am
,” said Gursimrat Singh Gill.

Gursimrat SIngh Gill

After spending four years at AIFF Elite Academy, Gursimrat Singh Gill signed his first professional contract with I-League club Bengaluru FC in 2016. Albert Roca who is the current fitness coach of FC Barcelona was the head coach of Bengaluru FC and was pleased with the signing of Gursimrat.

I was pretty aggressive on the field and my game was much of tackles and slides, but under him (Albert Roca) I came to know the value of keeping the ball and how much my game has evolved. It was my step forward from a boy to a player,” said Gursimrat.

Unfortunately, he was left out on the bench due to the competition in the squad and made just two appearances, one in the AFC Cup coming in as a substitute for Nishu Kumar in 89’th minute against Abahani of Bangladesh while the other was against Churchill Brothers FC in the I-League.

Albert Roca

After the season, not being retained by Bengaluru FC, he was drafted in the ISL player draft. Northeast United FC picked him for ISL season 2017-18. He made five appearances for the Highlanders that season.

It was a new challenge for me to be in the Indian Super League. A new team under a new coach and new teammates. It took time for me to settle down but once I did, it was very enjoyable learning under Avram Grant who made the game look so easy for me as he talked about simple football but was an effective one. Eelco provided us with the latest aspect of the game with sheer details,” said the 23-year old very confidently.

Recently, Gursimrat joined Sudeva Delhi FC, who were the debutant of I-League who finished with five wins, three draws, and six losses.

Being the debutant in the I-League we never were the underdogs and fought against each team with winning mentality. It was my first time I played consistently after and we were the second least goal conceded team. Keeping the ball and building from the back was something we followed in the league,” the center-back continued, “Most importantly, I love the pressure and I would say it excites me a lot. I don’t like boring games and if games are tough, it gives me more motivation.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the I-League was held in a bio-bubble where no other personals or fans were given access to enter the stadium or meet players.

It’s always difficult when you don’t have the freedom to do something. In situations like this mental strength plays a very important role, as for me it’s all mind game.

Nobody wants empty stands and especially for us as the debutants fans could have been a great strength to us. We missed them in stands and hopefully next season we can see them cheering for us loud and proud,” Gursimrat Singh Gill concluded.

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Shrivatsa Joglekar
A passionate football lover and writer from Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

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