The teenager is nearing return from injury after being named on the bench for the Men of Steel in previous game.

The wait eventually seems to be ending for Amarjit Singh to get back to the field. The India U-17 World Cup Captain who was under rehab after an injury to his forearm started his training with his club Jamshedpur FC and was even on the bench in their last Hero Indian Super League match.

In a freewheeling interview, Amarjit Singh opens up about his 2020 resolutions, the phase during his rehab, Subrata Paul being his “guardian angel,” inputs from Igor Stimac and much more. Excerpts:

Has this phase made you mentally stronger?

In such a phase I needed to stay mentally strong. Otherwise, during those moments when self-doubts creep in, you would struggle. I am extremely grateful to the mental support and guidance from the medical staff, both at the National Team set-up, and at my club. My parents and well-wishers have been with me all throughout. I owe a bit to Paul-da as well. (Subrata Paul). He has been special to me.

Why is that?

He is someone who is always so positive. We have always looked up to him but there’s hardly anyone else who will be so humble and down to earth despite achieving so much. Having him around itself brings in positive vibes. He has been constantly motivating me, reminding of the path ahead, and the hard work that I need to put in.

What exactly did he say?

He always mentions: “You have a great future ahead. But it’s for you to build on that. If you are satisfied with just the present, you won’t grow as a player in future. At the end of every day you need to realise how much you improved as a player on the day, and then build on it in the next training. He is an amazing personality.”

He reminds me that I am still a young player and advises me not to hurry to get back into action. “Never get back into play unless you are 200% confident. And always listen to the advice of the medical staff.”

I owe a lot to him, he is like my guardian angel (Amarjit Singh smiles).

What are your resolutions in 2020?

My sole resolution at the moment stays to get back into my Club team, and then the National Team. I was on the bench in our last Hero Indian Super League match but I still await to get a chance. And it’s not just about the chance, it’s about me proving to my coaches that I am good enough and better than others. If they get the confidence that I can make an impact on the field, it’s only then I will get my chance. I wait for it. My recovery has been good. I started my training around the middle of December and have been regular at it since then.

Have you been in touch with Igor Stimac?

Coach keeps a constant tab on what I am doing. He regularly takes updates. In addition, Professor (Luka Radman) has been advising me on the workouts, constantly checking on my status.