Dheeraj Singh ready to face the challenge

NEW DELHI: Goalkeepers are the last line of defense and possibly one of the most important element in the game of football. Indian U-17’s goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh understands that a goalkeeper’s job is of “staying in the moment” and believes that it takes one moment for a custodian to become a hero. In a detailed chat with AIFF’s official website, Dheeraj talks in length about his goalkeeping, Indian U-17s, the FIFA U-17 World Cup and a lot more. EXCERPTS:

How will you define your style of goalkeeping?

I like to keep a balance between aggressive goalkeeping where I dominate the box and composed goalkeeping. You have to pick your moments and chose what type of goalkeeping will suit the moment. Sometimes the aggressive goalkeeping can lead to difficulties and even conceding a goal where composed goalkeeping could have worked and vice versa. For a goalkeeper, both ways of goalkeeping are important.

How tough is a goalkeeper’s job?

Staying in the moment is the job of a goalkeeper and a slight lack of focus or concentration can easily lead to a goal. Goalkeepers are the last barriers and it makes the job all the more tough when there is a pressure of performing in every single game associated with it.

Will the FIFA U-17 World Cup be a challenge as a goalkeeper?

It is a challenge that I am prepared for. We respect our opponents but as a goalkeeper it is my job to be the hardest barrier they face and I will try to be the hardest barrier that they will ever face in scoring a goal.

Are you looking forward to the FIFA U-17 World Cup?

Yes! Very much, all my days of sacrifice and hard work will be rewarded and I am very much excited to be a part of the first Indian team to feature in a FIFA World Cup.

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