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The Churchill custodian spoke on being selected in the national team and his team's chances in the I-League...

Sandip Nandy has been named in the 23-member India squad for the international friendly against Palestine on February 6 at Kochi and the Churchill shot stopper cannot hide his excitement on making a return to the national team.

Churchill Brothers have the second best defensive record in the league this season having conceded a mere 17 goals and a lot of the credit has to be given to the former Mahindra United custodian.

 “I feel my form has been good even before this season,” he quipped when asked about what he has been doing differently as compared to previous years when his form was probably not as great as it is this season.

“If some 2-to-3 odd games are bad, it does not mean that I am out of form,” he said confidently. “The technical director (Subhash Bhowmick) fought for keeping me at Churchill and I’m trying to repay his faith in me by challenging myself to play well.”

Being the senior most players in the Churchill squad, he is usually the one to guide his younger compatriots on the right path. “I always try to help the team by guiding everyone through my knowledge and experience.”

With an important friendly coming up against Palestine in Kochi in a few days time, his thoughts on how the game could turn out to be rather composed.

“I don’t know much about their style of play but naturally we will do our best to try and win the game,” he said.

Nandy, like most, believes that the infrastructure in the country needs massive overhaul given that it isn’t in the best state.

“The facilities in India are something which should be improved. It has certainly improved from a time where we had to shell out the cost of travel and then ask for reimbursement, but now forget travel, we even get good accommodation.”

“So, the standard has obviously been raised but we need to move another step forward. The training pitch and the stadium need to be further improved which will help the players in their development.”

Finally, coming to Churchill Brothers’ current season where they comfortably sit at the top of the table leading East Bengal by 2 points and with 2 games in hand, Nandy said,” We take one game at a time and at the moment the next two games (against Sporting Club de Goa and Pailan Arrows) are really vital for us.”

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