Pasha: Goalkeepers key to success

Pasha, who was involved with the development of most of the current India U-17 World Cup squad including no. 1 goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, told Sportstar, "Whenever we go to play important tournaments, we expect the goalkeeper to be the hero.

Former India striker Sabir Pasha feels goalkeepers will be key to winning major competitions.   -  V. Ganesan

More often than not striker's goals makes the difference in a football game, but former India striker Sabir Pasha feels goalkeepers will be key to winning major competitions.

Pasha, who was involved with the development of most of the current India U-17 World Cup squad including no. 1 goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, told Sportstar, "Whenever we go to play important tournaments, we expect the goalkeeper to be the hero.

"This time also we expect the goalkeepers to be strong and keep the opposition at bay."

At the end of the tournament, some of these Boys in Blue could possibly earn a call-up with ISL sides. However, Pasha hopes the youngsters will choose game-time over lucrative contracts.

"I urge the boys to choose a club where they will find a place to develop their game. Its important to get regular playing time and not sit on the sidelines. The clubs will have to look into scenarios were they don't waste these talents," said the assistant coach of Chennaiyin FC.

Raman Vijayan, another former Indian footballer, raised similar concerns but he felt the step up to the Indian Super League will help the players in their development.

"Before ISL came along, we didn't have a professional attitude towards football. These boys will benefit from the experience of playing in the ISL," said Raman.