The midfielder played 19 matches in the ISL last season.

Thanks to the Indian Super League, Indian football is getting new players contending to become stars. Last season was no different as we saw many unsung youngsters outperforming the big names. Jitendra Singh is one such figure, who has switched from being a defender to a midfielder in the ISL. After two seasons of transition, the youngster commanded the midfield for Jamshedpur FC and started most of the games.

Recently, the midfield prodigy interacted with Khel Now. Here’s what he said.

The off-season period

The midfielder started with talking about the previous season, “Last season was really good for me. I felt good to get that much game time and have the trust of the coach. We eventually got success as a group with the play-offs and winning the Shield. And the senior players like Greg Stewart and Peter Hartley immensely helped me to grow. I learnt to keep myself in a good mental state when things were tough for us.”

An off-season is the transition period from one season to another. That’s the only time the players can reunite with their families and stay away from the sport. A mental revamp is what players seek during this period. It was no different for Jitendra Singh. He asserted, “But at the same time, family is important too. So I took the off-season period to spend some time with them. And now I feel ready for the pre-season. I am already working hard to get back in shape.”

Approach for new season

The 21-year-old is the only midfielder from the previous season to continue at Jamshedpur FC. The young player discussed how difficult it would be to get going with the newcomers in the new season. He stated, “The new players coming in are really professional. Welli (Wellington Priori) has played for Jamshedpur previously and he is well aware of what the team demands of him. Other players have also been playing in the Indian Super League so it won’t be that difficult. We just need to know each other and the rest would be fine.”

The player denied any he would get any advantage over the new players due to his last season’s performance with the club.

“I have nothing like that in my mind. Only if there is competition in your position then you will grow. It’s never going to happen being in the comfort zone. The new players are really talented and that’s needed to do well,” added the midfielder.

More attacking Jitendra next season?

Being a defensive midfielder, Jitendra Singh’s task is not only to guard the Jamshedpur FC fortress but also keep the passes flowing into the attacking third.

The youngster spoke on improving his attacking fluidity. He said, “I am expecting more from myself as well. Last season also I wanted to do even better but it takes time. I am working on my game to increase my involvement in attack. And I am getting the support from the team as well. So the process is on and I hope to get my maiden goal in Jamshedpur colours. It has been three years here and I want to score and assist for the team.”

Expectations for the next season

Jamshedpur FC won their maiden ISL League Winners’ Shield last season. Needless to mention, Jitendra Singh played an integral role in the same. The midfielder spoke of his expectations for the upcoming season.

“First of all, I want the team to retain the title of ‘Champions of India’ and win the Shield again. And also, take a step ahead and challenge for the Indian Super League trophy. Personally, I want to get as much game time as possible and get into the National team soon,” he concluded.

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