FC Bengaluru United teenaged mid-fielder Shreyas Ketkar has been included in the country’s U-19 team, having learned a lot from former India international Gouramangi Singh. Gouramangi is currently the assistant coach at FC Bengaluru United.
“It was an honour to be coached under him and play alongside him during practice. He used to play with us for fun and give instructions while playing,” Ketkar said. “He is one of the greatest ever players. He is always open to suggestions. Drawing from his own experience at the highest level, he tells the players what to do in different situations.” Ketkar is undoubtedly “excited” at the opportunity and hopes this will be a step forward towards his ultimate goal of representing the senior team.
“I am very excited to train with the India U-19 squad, but my goal is to not only play for the India U-19 team but to definitely play for the Indian Senior Team one day. However, I have to take one step at a time. “Hopefully, I can do well here and eventually move into the senior team. My immediate goal is to make it to the India U-19 squad for the U-19 AFC Cup in 2022,” said Ketkar.
Having honed his skills as part of the Bengaluru United U-18 academy batch, Ketkar got his first taste of the I-League (senior teams) when he played for FC Bengaluru United from October 2020 to January 2021. Shortly after playing for Bengaluru United in the second division last year, Ketkar impressed the selectors during the trials held by first division I-League team Indian Arrows and moved to the side on loan. Ketkar acknowledged the role of the “coaches and staff and players” at FC Bengaluru United in helping him grow and learn as a player.
“They gave a chance to everyone, even young players like me. We got a chance to play and compete in the second division. I learnt a lot about the game in a different way,” says the 17-year-old.