The former Indian football team captain revealed that he had to choose between playing and coaching.

Former Indian football team defender Gouramangi Singh has ventured into the world of football coaching, following the end of his playing career. The 33-year-old has been appointed as the new first-team coach of FC Bengaluru United.

His new employers compete in the BDFA Super Division League in Bengaluru and are preparing for a run in the Second Division League next year.

Gouramangi Singh was last seen at NEROCA FC, who he claims wanted him back. However, Singh has been a free agent since the 2017-2018 season.

In conversation with Sportstar, Gouramangi said, “(Former India coach) Bob Houghton used to tell us to play every game like it was our last, because we would miss it after we stop playing. He was right. I miss playing a lot and I feel I have a couple of years of football left in me. NEROCA wanted me back, but I cannot have my feet in two places at the same time. It was either coaching or playing and I chose coaching.”

Singh’s arrival in the city was welcomed by former teammate Sunil Chhetri. The Bengaluru FC star and Indian football legend also conversed with Singh via a phone call. “Chhetri called and asked me what I was doing in his city (laughs). He invited me to join his birthday celebrations. That was an enjoyable night.”

Singh, who earned 71 international caps playing for his country, was highly complimentary of his former teammate’s dedication to keeping himself fit, to maintain his performances on the pitch despite his age.

“The way Chhetri has looked after himself – he is the best example for all youngsters. I reminded him that he is the only one from our generation who is still going strong and that he should keep playing for as long as possible,” he said.

Gouramangi Singh credits his decision to move into a coaching role to former AIFF technical director and former Indian national team coach, Savio Madeira, hailing him as the person who ignited his interest in coaching.

Singh accepted the role at FC Bengaluru United ahead of more high-profile offers after meeting the club’s head coach, Richard Hood during AFC’s A-Licence coaching course. “Hood is an accomplished coach and this club has a fantastic setup. Someone recently asked me why I joined this club when I could have taken an assistant coach role for an ISL side instead. It’s not about what level you are at. It’s about learning as much as you can,” he concluded.