When Dheeraj Singh left the Indian Arrows squad midway last season, the onus fell on Prabhsukha Singh Gill to perform under the crossbar.
Although he had a shaky debut against East Bengal his confidence grew with each passing game and by the end of the season. Gill was being recognised as a prominent youngster who could well be the number one for the senior team in the future.
"I played my first match on January 2 against East Bengal. It was my first professional match and only I know what was going inside my head as I was facing a heavy-weight like East Bengal. That match did not go well. But as the league progressed I gained more confidence. The coach also supported me a lot and even if I made mistakes he highlighted my positives. Then next time when I played East Bengal I was adjudged as the man of the match. I was very happy with my progress. I played 12 matches in I-League and the experience I gained is priceless," said Gill.
The Ludhiana born keeper heaped praise on coach Floyd Pinto and went on to say that it is easier communicating with Indian coaches than their foreign counterparts.
"Foreign coaches are good but we hesitate a bit while communicating with them. But with an Indian coach, we can open up very easily. Floyd Sir is very friendly with us. We can share every type of problem with him. Now hopefully, we will do well in the league as well."
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) along with Sports Authority of India (SAI) arranged a number of exposure tours so that this bunch of players gets to play against stronger opponents across the globe which would help with their development. Sharing his experience about the tours with Goal, Gill said, "The exposure tours have been most helpful. In every tour, we played strong opponents.
"In Spain, we played against Venezuela, Argentina and also locked horns against other footballing powerhouses like Croatia, Serbia and France. We played for a result. It is a different matter that we could not get a positive one. But we learnt how to deal with pressure against stronger opponents. This will help us in I-League as well."
Although the Arrows team won hearts with their football they could not grind out positive results and they finished last in the league. But this time Gill believes that would not be the case.
"Last year, it was our first time in a professional league. We have higher expectations this season. We want to finish at least in the top five. We play for the results this year. We were a little less matured last year. Now we have some experience and we would like to use this in a positive way," he concluded.