New Delhi [India], November 16 (ANI): Midfielder Suresh Singh Wangjam has said that he owes "a lot to the foundation" provided by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Elite Academy during his initial years.
After representing the country in the first-ever FIFA World Cup hosted by India, he gathered invaluable experience during his stint with the Indian Arrows which is being immensely useful during his time at Bengaluru FC.
"I owe a lot to the foundation that I have started building my career on. The whole World Cup phase was so memorable and helpful, given the kind of exposure we received, the teams we played, the platform we got," said the midfielder during a chat with AIFF's website.
"Once the FIFA U-17 World Cup was done, we got the big opportunity to play in the Hero I-League through the Indian Arrows and that again was a fantastic chance for me to gain experience that I am now using during my time at Bengaluru FC," he added.
Suresh spent two seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19) at the Indian Arrows before shifting to the AFC Cup finalists at the start of the 2019-20 season.
The Manipur-born midfielder, in 11 matches during his first Hero Indian Super League season, made 197 passes with a whopping success rate of 73.09 per cent.
He feels that he has grown up as a player through the "highs and lows" and is looking forward to capitalise on the lessons that he has learned.
"My first season in the Indian Super League was one full of learning for me. I had my highs and my lows, but I have learnt through both of them. The coach showing faith in my abilities and giving me my chances which I hung on to through the season was a big positive," said Suresh
"Then there was the semifinal against ATK where I ended up making a silly and costly mistake in the box that killed our hopes of another final. But like I said, I have only grown richer as a player and a person through that moment and I will look to build on it this season," the 20-year-old said. (ANI)