Subrata Paul, the first Indian goalkeeper to earn a professional contract in an European top-division outfit, stressed that the I-League clubs should give more importance to the goalkeepers and bring specialist coaches on board.
“Goalkeeper is a specialist area in football and I think this should be given extra care. In my view, every club should have a good goalkeeper coach which doesn’t happen in India. From next year, the other clubs should learn from Bengaluru and Pune FC and should bring a goalkeeper coach," he insisted.
"It’s very important. In my club we have such a good coach. Indian clubs should take this path very soon,” the ace shot-stopper told Goal after a practice session with the Blue Tigers.
He was also thrilled about his stint in FC Vestsjælland and hoped that he will get more playing time in the coming days.
“It’s very good. I have already played a match there and the second match was scheduled today (Sunday), but I am here. So, I have just started the journey. I hope I will get more game-time in the future,” he remarked.
The custodian was left out of the Indian squad in the last couple of matches against Philippines and Nepal, but now sounded jubilant to be back in the reckoning.
“It’s always great to represent your country. It’s the same feeling with everybody. Also, I was not part of the squad in the last match, so it feels even better this time around. I am back to give my best,” said the man who has made 67 appearances for the national side.
Subrata had a brief loan stint with Rangdajied United before joining the Danish outfit and he impressed with his form in his short stay. However, the 'Indian Spiderman' said that he doesn't miss the challenge of the I-League since he faces tougher hurdles these days.
“I wouldn’t tell you that I miss the fight for Rangdajied because the level is very high in Denmark. Everybody knows about the difference in the levels and I want to establish myself there. This is just the start, but it’s a long way to go,” he told.
Amrinder Singh, the Pune FC keeper has earned his maiden call-up to the national squad and the veteran had nothing but praise for him.
“Amrinder was with me in Pune FC as well. After those years, he has only improved and now has made it into the national team. He has performed well in the I-League this season. He is a good guy and tries to learn from me. He often says, 'brother let’s practice today evening'," Subrata revealed.
Talking about India's clash against Bangladesh on the March 5th, Subrata stressed that there's nothing special about the opponents and the team needs a win in order to improve their FIFA rankings.
“Almost all the matches in the subcontinent are the same. We have to win the Bangladesh match to improve our FIFA ranking. It’s so good to see so many young faces in the national team. Except for Sunil and Clifford Bhai, almost all are very young and are trying hard to win the match,” he signed off.