The Indian International was injured in a Europa League qualifier last season and has played in friendlies prior to this game. . . 

It’s Christmas for Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s fans as the 1.94m tall goalkeeper finally starts in a competitive game for the first time in 2017 for his club Stabaek Fotball. The 25-year-old has been in fine form in his outings in non-competitive and reserve fixtures and thus, has been rewarded with a start.

Gurpreet started against Holmila SK in a Cup tie. Stabaek blanked out Holmila Sk 9-0 in a one-sided game. The winning side was dominant in both halves as they scored 4 and 5 in both of them respectively.

The goalkeeper, after the game, exclusively said to Khel Now, ” I felt good and confident and was looking for my opportunity. Glad about the result too”.

Gurpreet was in tremendous form last season with his club and National team. He had started four Cup games and a league game in Eliteserien, the Norwegian league. On the back of his strong performances in these games, Gurpreet was selected to start in arguably the club’s greatest game, a Europa League qualifier against Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads FC. 

Sadly, the Indian goalkeeper suffered a hand injury and was substituted in the 29th minute. That game saw a turning point as Gurpreet season was over and he spent most of the season on the medical desk.

In 2015 Sandhu had kept a clean sheet in his league start against IK Start, a game his club won 5-0. In the four Cup games, his team won three, scoring 14 goals and conceding just two in two. In the last-16 Round of the Cup, Gurpreet made a lot of key saves in a 1-0 defeat at Stromsgodset IF.

In 2014, Gurpreet had only started in a Cup game, keeping a clean sheet. This easily shows he has grown in stature over the last two seasons and his hand injury played a key role in keeping him out of the playing XI. This is Gurpreet’s last season of contract at Stabaek FC and a host of major clubs are keeping a close eye on his situation. 

When asked about his targets for this season, Gurpreet added,”Well i would love to play every single game and the competition between me and Sayouba is close and the spot is open according to the coach, so I’ll make sure I’m available whenever I’m asked to play.”

Gurpreet also took time out to highlight his plans after the season and said,”The plans depend on how the season goes this year.”

Looking in retrospect, Everton, Reading and a few Spanish clubs had scouted Gurpreet in the initial years of his career and it would be a major boost to Indian football if the Chandigarh-born player plies his trade for a Premier League/Championship club.