After earning his maiden call to the Indian national team camp, the Sikkimese fears that time is running out for him to make it into the final squad...Indian national team coach Wim Koevermans has named Sanju Pradhan among the 37 probables for the camp ahead of the Nehru Cup.
Pradhan expressed his pleasure on being selected but also mentioned that this is an important opportunity for him to make a mark in the national camp.
"It feels very good to be selected for India, especially after waiting for a very long time," said the midfielder.
"It's a great opportunity for me to share the camp with the seniors. This is my final opportunity for India. I may make it or I may not, and so I will give it my 100 per cent.
"There are a lot of youngsters who are performing better as the India U-22 boys have shown recently. The situation hence calls for more confidence being shown in them as they form the future of Indian football," he went on to reason.
|Will my club release me for the national camp?|
The East Bengal player also admitted that he is still uncertain whether or not his club will release him to attend the national camp given the ongoing tension between the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Indian Professional Football Clubs Association (IPFCA) with the latter's demands not being met by the former.
"The club hasn't spoken with players as yet. They may have spoken with the association. Only after we know something and are made aware of the situation, we can attend the camp.
"It is our opportunity to represent the country, but if the club does not release players we cannot force out too. Once we sign for a club, we are their player for the season," he added.
Sanju Pradhan also draws inspiration from Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Subrata Paul who have tried their luck abroad, with only the Indian national team skipper managing to ink a move to Sporting CP's 'B' side.
"Chhetri, Subrata and Gurpreet have all gone abroad. This gives others the inspiration that we also can... but until I play for national team it will be difficult for me," he conceded.
"We all might dream to go to Manchester United, but there is lots more than hard work to get there. Directly playing for a big club is very difficult. You have to try at a smaller club and climb up the ladder besides earning yourself a valuable experience."
|Gurpreet Singh||Subrata Paul||Sunil Chhetri|
The winger, who is managed by Libero Sports India, believes that the above mentioned trio have the potential to make the cut outside India.
"Wigan is a big team and Gurpreet is young. Even if he does not get selected there, he could get another opportunity somewhere else.
"Subrata was one of my favourites for a long time. I used to always wonder why he doesn't go abroad but now that is trying at a German club, I hope he does well.
"Chhetri bhai knows how it is abroad. He is very experienced, how much I say is not enough. Every year, he goes abroad to some club or the other to try his luck."
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