Indian centre-back Sandesh Jhinghan’s signing to Croatia’s First Division club HNK Sibenik has become an inspiring moment for his defensive partner Chinglesana Singh. The 24-year-old feels Sandesh Jhinghan has opened new opportunities for many upcoming footballers and now dreams of following him.
"What Sandesh Jhinghan has done is amazing and it is really good for us as players. We need to look further and explore Europe and other places to improve ourselves, and the national team. I am really happy for him. He has opened the door for us. He is a great person and partner to play alongside. He players his heart out and words are not enough to describe playing with him. We share a special bond,” Sana was quoted by AIFF TV.
Sandesh Jhinghan had signed a five-year contract with ATK Mohun Bagan last season. However, while signing, his contract had a special clause inserted that would allow him to terminate his deal with ATKMB should any European club come calling.
Why National team will benefit from Sandesh Jhinghan’s stint in Croatia?
Sandesh Jhingan and Chinglensana Singh (Sana) have formed a formidable centre-back pairing for the Blue Tigers in recent matches.
Sana, 24, believes Sandesh Jhinghan is carrying the legacy of Baichung Bhutia and Sunil Chhetri, who were amongst the first Indian footballers to be part of European football.
Sana also talked about the impact that Sandesh Jhinghan would have on the national team. He feels Jhingan's move will benefit him as well as the Indian defender will get to learn new things from his senior counter-part.
"Earlier it was Bhaichung-bhai, Sunil-bhai and then Gurpreet-paji, who played abroad. And now it is Sandesh Jhinghan, who is a defender. I will have the privilege to learn from him as his defensive partner whenever he comes back, and what he will bring back to the national team will be huge and immense. I would like to follow in his footsteps and his move will encourage us to look beyond Indian football and reach that level," he said.
The young defender is currently in Kolkata as part of the ongoing senior national team. He is one of the promising players in the Indian team.
Sana was born in Manipur and started playing football at the age of seven. He began his youth career at Mahindra United and was part of the Manchester United Premier Cup winning team in 2010.
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In 2012, he joined the famous Tata Football Academy where he played for their U17 and U19 teams. While at TFA, he won the U19 I-League in 2014. Sana also went on exposure tours to Sheffield, England and was part of the club’s U18 side.
He is currently part of Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL).