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Playing against senior players helped me mature faster: Thapa
New Delhi, Sep 22 - India midfielder Anirudh Thapa feels playing friendly matches against senior players helped him mature faster as a player. The 22-year-old feels that that it was because of the number of matches that he got to play against quality opponents while he was at the Academy, that he has now become a regular feature in the heart of the Blue Tigers midfield.
"I feel blessed to have trained under someone like Gautam (Ghosh) sir during my AIFF Academy days," said Thapa during a live chat on AIFF TV.
The midfielder further talked about how matches were arranged every week at the Kalyani Stadium, where the AIFF Academy boys trained. While these were essentially friendly matches, the boys used to play against senior teams, most of whom were regulars in senior leagues, he said.
"Gautam sir used to set up matches for us. They were good teams, all seniors, and were playing in the Kolkata Premier League," recalled Thapa. "Whether we won or lost these matches was not important. What mattered was that it helped us grow. Those really were the best days.
"Gautam sir used to treat us like we were his own children. And that's not an easy task since he had his own family and his own children to look after. It's not easy to manage 25-30 more boys on top of that," said Thapa.
"I had never seen him as a player, but we could tell that he was really good, just by looking at the moves he used to make on the training pitch," he said.
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