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Lack of an experienced back-up goalkeeper a worry for Sreejesh

Lack of an experienced back-up goalkeeper a worry for Sreejesh

Ipoh (Malaysia): India's PR Sreejesh is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world at the moment, but the lanky Kerala lad feels that the absence of an experienced back up custodian is a major cause of worry for the team going into next year's Rio Olympics.

A day after proving his mettle under the bar and helping India finish third in the just-concluded 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup here by effecting two saves in the penalty shoot-out, Sreejesh said India's back-up goalkeepers Harjot Singh and Sushant Tirkey needed to be provided more international experience in the near future so that they could fit into the shoes when required.

"The absence of a back-up goalkeeper is always a worry for us," an ever-jovial Sreejesh told PTI in an interview after being named man-of-the-match in India's 4-1 win over Korea at the Azlan Shah Cup after both the teams were locked 2-2 at regulation time yesterday.

"Harjot and Sushant are there and they are doing their best but they are not getting many opportunities to gain experience. They are not getting enough time on the turf because if you see all the matches here were important for us.

"Harjot only got some time to play against Canada. So they need to be given more chances in future when we play Test matches because a goalkeeper can only become better with experience," said Sreejesh, who made his debut for India way back in 2006 but became a regular in the team only in 2011.

'Sree', as he is fondly called by his teammates, also wants to do his bit in helping create a bigger pool of goalkeepers for India and plans to take up coaching once he calls it a day.

Revealing his future plans, the six feet custodian said: "What I want to do is that after taking retirement I want to go to Holland or South Africa to work under either Dave (Staniforth) or Martin Drijver for six months to one year, and then comeback and start a goalkeeping academy.

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