Al Khobar [Saudi Arabia], Nov 5 : Ahead of the AFC U-19 Championships 2020 Qualifiers, striker Gurkirat Singh has revealed that he thought of quitting the sport during his initial days in the academy.
"As a young cadet in my academy in Chandigarh - living far from home, there were times when I wanted to leave and once, I even ran off," AIFF quoted Gurkirat as saying.
"However, I came back only due to the continuous backing of my parents, who always believed in me and I shall remain indebted to them for their never-ending support," he added.
The 16-year-old was the joint top-scorer at the SAFF U-18 Championships in Nepal, where India lifted the coveted trophy.
Gurkirat also revealed that India U16 head coach Bibiano Fernandes made him learn things both "on and off the pitch."
"Bibiano Fernandes sir taught us very well - both on and off the pitch. Under his guidance, I improved technically and tactically. Additionally, I learnt a lot about the mental side of the game and how to take care of things off the pitch, like my diet," he said.
The Indian Under-19 football team is in group 'F' of the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers with Saudi Arabia (H), Uzbekistan, and Afghstan.
India will play its first match against Uzbekistan on Wednesday.
( With inputs from ANI )