Bengaluru Utd's Ramesh is inspired by ex-India footballer Gouramangi

Bengaluru, Jun 24 (IANS): Bengaluru United goalkeeper Srijith Ramesh draws inspiration from the former India footballer Gouramangi Singh, and believes that the retired centre-back is hugely beneficial for the Bengaluru United squad.

"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," said 25-year-old Ramesh from Karnataka.

"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," he said.

Gouramangi made 71 appearances for the Indian team in his career and is currently the first-team coach of I-League 2nd Division side Bengaluru United.

It would seem that Ramesh 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, Ramesh 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," he said.

"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."

Bengaluru United have created a pathway for first-team players to become trainers by enabling them to take up coaching responsibilities in the youth setup. Ramesh 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," Ramesh said.

"Richard Hood (Head Coach, Bengaluru United) has been a great mentor for me and offered his support at each step. He has worked in Indian grassroots football for over eight years now, so he naturally has a lot to offer when it comes to youth development in football."



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