Sandesh Jhingan: I am still optimistic of playing for an I-League club

The former United Sikkim defender hopes to don the national colours soon despite being snubbed in the list of 21 players for the upcoming international friendlies…

Sandesh Jhingan is one of the promising talents in the country but has been left out of the national team squad by coach Wim Koevermans.

The obvious reason for the snub being that the 20-year old hasn’t played professional football since the end of last season. Having pledged alliance with IMG-Reliance’s Indian Super League (ISL), which has been postponed to September 2014 after being scheduled to kickoff in January, Jhingan has only been practicing to keep his fitness levels up as the I-League clubs have chosen not to take players from the new league.

"I signed for ISL right after my club United Sikkim FC was relegated from I-League because at that stage, I found the concept of ISL interesting. There were no protests from the I-League clubs when IMG-Reliance signed players like us but later on they refused to sign players who had signed contract with IMG-Reliance. However, I am still optimistic of playing for an I-League club,” he told The Indian Express.

Over the summer, the youngster had an offer from Dempo SC and work with Arthur Papas, a coach known to get the best out of young talents. However the player chose not to join the Goan giants.

“Dempo is a big club and to receive an offer from them in itself was a big thing for me. There is no doubt that being associated with the club and playing under coach Arthur Papas would have benefitted me as a player. However, I don't regret my decision,” he mentioned.

Jhingan reiterated his desire to play for the national side and even to venture abroad should an opportunity come his way.

“I want to become a regular member of the Indian team and if possible, play for foreign clubs also,” he stated.

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