Bengaluru United goalkeeper Srijith Ramesh has revealed that he has been inspired by former Indian footballer and current first-team coach Gouramangi Singh. The 25-year-old custodian further stated that the retired center-back has been hugely beneficial for the Bengaluru United squad.
Gouramangi Singh made 71 appearances for the Indian national football team over the course of his playing career.
“Gouramangi serves as an ideal role model for each player at the club because of what he has already done in his playing career, and how he continues to dedicate himself to training every single day. His insight feels very easy to relate to because he can analyse each situation from a player’s perspective and help the team out,” Srijith Ramesh said.
“Moreover, he is a very approachable person and he takes a lot of interest in each player, particularly in the defensive unit of the team, as that’s where his biggest expertise lies,” the goalkeeper from Karnataka added.
It would seem that Srijith is on his way to follow the footsteps of the former India international and looks up to the player-turned-coach in more ways than one. Apart from serving the club as the custodian between the goalposts, Srijith also coaches the kids in the Bengaluru United Academy.
“I work with very young players in the Under-8 and Under-12 age categories from the Academy. The primary focus when I am working with such young kids is to try to make them fall in love with the game. At this age, more than developing their skills right away, a coach needs to ensure that they have fun playing football. This way, they will continue playing the sport in their formative years and get better at the game. Although the training is very different in the Academy structure and the first team, the approach to coaching is an aspect in which I can learn from Gouramangi,” Srijith said.
Bengaluru United has adopted a pioneering approach in creating a pathway for first-team players to become trainers by enabling them to take up coaching responsibilities in the youth setup. Srijith is making the most of this opportunity at the moment.
“I have been with the club since its inception, and I always wanted to do more. I have some time to spare on my hands after the first-team training sessions, and I wanted to proactively take up coaching the kids at this time.
“The senior management and staff at Bengaluru United have fully encouraged this move. Bengaluru United head coach Richard Hood has been a great mentor for me and offered his support at each step. He has worked in Indian grassroots football for over 8 years now, so he naturally has a lot to offer when it comes to youth development in football,” the I-League 2nd Division goalkeeper added.
Featured photo: Bengaluru United