"Sportsmanship is way more important than just winning a game."
04th October 2015
Says Amrinder Singh Sandhu, the young goalie from Punjab who made his presence adequately felt in ATK's win against Chennaiyin FC in the first match of Hero ISL II. We caught up with him last evening in Goa as he and his mates relaxed in the team hotel and keenly watched the proceedings of the FC Goa-Delhi Dynamos match.
Congratulations! How does it feel to start this year's campaign with a win?
Thanks a lot! It feels great to start the season with a win. The first match of any tournament is very important for the team. And, thanks to this win, the entire team's confidence has received a major boost!
How confident were you about making it to the playing XI given the fact that Calatayud is obviously more experienced?
I'd no idea if I would be in the first XI. But, I was prepared to give my 100%. It was like a dream come true to start the match!
What has your experience with Coach Habas been like?
Coach Habas is a wonderful person. I've learnt a lot from him. I feel blessed and lucky to have got the opportunity to train under him!
We saw you gain in confidence as the match progressed. You even ran out almost halfway to the middle to stop an attack in the 36th minute. Were you nervous going into the match?
No no. I wasn't nervous at all! But, I was tremendously excited going into the match. And yes, it's true that as the match progressed, my self-confidence kept going up by notches!
What was going though your mind when Chennaiyin were awarded the penalty wrongly in the 88th minute? It's not easy guarding the goal against Elano.
For a little while I did lose my temper, but then I calmed myself down. Such things keep happening during a game. It's our job to not let such incidents affect our composure. This is what we're trained to do!
After scoring, Elano nearly snatched the ball away from you to celebrate and you toppled over. We thought that was very unbecoming of a sportsman. How did you manage to keep your cool?
For me, sportsmanship is way more important than just winning a game. A game has to be played, and won, the right way. It's the duty of every player to respect the game and other players. As far as Elano is concerned, yes I was upset but, he's my senior and a much more experienced player. I respect him, and not reacting to his behaviour seemed like the respectful thing to do!
What are your plans for the match against FC Goa? They played some very pressing football today in the match against Delhi Dynamos.
Playing in Goa is always a great experience. The crowd loves football. I hope that we can continue our good form and win against FC Goa too. I expect it to be a great game, and am looking forward to it!