My priority is to win a trophy for the club, says Amrinder Singh ahead of Kerala Blasters FC clash
Ahead of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season opener, goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, who joined ATK Mohun Bagan from defending Hero ISL champions Mumbai City FC on a long-term contract speaks about his latest career move, the Indian football transfer market, the ATK Mohun Bagan culture, and coach Antonio Habas' winning mentality.
Your move to ATK Mohun Bagan was decided before the end of last season. Mumbai City FC won everything under your captaincy. Looking back, was it the right decision at that time?
Of course, I took a lot of time to think. Much before the season ended, when the league was going on, this decision was taken. I met with the club (Mumbai City FC) and they told me you can move on and they stood by my decision. That time, I consulted with my seniors and made the decision. I feel if you are a professional player and going to a club next season which you are facing in semi-finals and finals, there shouldn't be a problem. You have seen, I took the decision early. In the end, I am honest with myself and for me, football is everything for me. I feel it is the correct decision, we play to win. It doesn't matter where you go next season. If I am at ATK Mohun Bagan today, this is everything for me.
The Indian football transfer record was broken multiple times this season, ATK Mohun Bagan got Hugo Boumous and Liston Colaco. Apuia went to Mumbai City, how has the transfer market in India evolved in the last few years?
I feel this is a good sign that there is an increased demand for players, a good thing for the aspiring juniors. What we see in Europe, similarly, the big clubs (in India) are paying big transfer fees. This is a good signal. We have been improving. You've seen how teams have improved gradually in the ISL. Look at how many youngsters have emerged and done well for the national team. I feel Indian football will reach greater heights in the coming time. ISL teams and the national team is doing well. This is a good sign.
The last time you won the Hero ISL Golden Glove was in 2016. This time ably supported by a defence whose goalkeeper won it last season. What are your chances this time?
I have won trophies last season but now that I am here, I see there is a mentality to win, every year. You have seen every year our team reaches the semi-finals and finals. The focus remains the same, first get into the semi-finals, then fight for the Shield by finishing top of the table and then the ISL trophy. My priority is to win a trophy for the club and then comes the individual Golden Gloves. If we win any awards, it's always a good thing.
You have worked with a lot of Spanish coaches. What sets Antonio Habas apart?
It's his mindset, always going for the win. Every training, it's got to do with winning, it's a competition. From here he builds the mindset of the team, going into every match, just to win. He hates losing. I have seen many of his players have the same mindset. The mentality of the club is also the same, do everything to reach the final and bring back the trophy.
Is it easier facing Roy Krishna and David Williams in training than in the matches?
It is always a good signal for a goalkeeper if your team has the league's best strikers. Opponents might face them 1-2 times in the season but if you have the best strikers and you face them daily in training, it further improves you. Of course, I will always want them to play for the team I play.