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The turbaned coach always knew...

While many were taken by surprise that the India junior team went on to win the SAFF Cup in Dhaka beating Maldives in the finals, Sukwhinder Singh states that he never doubted that they couldn’t win the tournament.

The experienced coach, who led India on the second occasion to win the south Asian tournament, knew that there was enough talent in the squad, and it didn’t matter whether they were inexperienced.

“When I saw the list for the first time and when we finalized, I was confident that we could win the tournament. I knew that the chance was there as we had a lot of good names in the squad,” said Sukhwinder Singh.

Having left JCT after over 17 years of service, Sukhwinder decided on taking up the call to lead the junior team as it was a chance to serve the nation, something which he couldn’t deny.

“All the credit must go the boys. Our junior boys didn’t break the winning cycle of the senior team as we now have our fourth title in three years, which is an achievement. It also points that our youngsters are also moving in the same direction. I spoke to Bob (Houghton) the following day of our victory as he thanked the boys for winning and said “great work.” We believed that we could do something and eventually, we did,” said the former JCT coach.

So what next for Sukwhinder?

“For now, I’m heading to Punjab,” he said after coming through a rather miserable journey from Dhaka.   

Rahul Bali.

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