BENGALURU: It would not be wrong to say goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is one of the fittest (also luckiest) Indian footballers in the country right now. While most of the players in the country were forced to stay indoors due to Covid-19 pandemic, he gradually resumed outdoor training in Australia by April itself. He was fortunate to have left India before the government-enforced lockdown began in late March. The Bengaluru FC man currently resides with his girlfriend in Sydney.
A glance at Gurpreet's social media accounts, including Twitter and Instagram, sheds light on his training routine. More importantly, he has his fellow club mate, Erik Paartalu, also from Sydney, for practice at Russell Reserve in Rouse Hill. With Australia, which has witnessed around 100 deaths, the situation was always far better than India.
"It definitely helped that Australia was not as affected as other countries. I have always wanted to train during the off season. Being in one place for so long gave me the chance to train consistently and to have Erik here was a big bonus. When the restrictions were lifted it gave us the chance to go out into open spaces, else it would have been tough," Gurpreet said.
It seems that the stars have aligned perfectly for Gurpreet in training. Besides having the Bengaluru FC midfielder, who signed a two-year contract extension in March, during practice, Erik's friend Graeme Forbes — a fitness trainer — has also been pushing Gurpreet. In one of the videos that he posted on social media last month, Gurpreet thanked Forbes, via caption, for helping him.
And with Erik possessing a powerful shot, Gurpreet is made to work harder under the bar. "I spend most of my time between the posts as always and Erik is looking to keep fit and ready. It's great to have him as a partner because he's got a really good right foot, which helps me with my goalkeeping," said Gurpreet, who trains around four times a week.
Despite his training, his return to India remains unclear with international flights yet to resume. Even there is no word on when the Bengaluru FC camp — which normally begins in July — will commence, meaning players have to work individually till then. Some of the players update their coaching staff via Whatsapp about their training schedule too.
"The off season has been a big challenge this time, which only means that the season to come will be even tougher than it was supposed to be. While we are in touch with certain members of the BFC staff, it is also an individual responsibility for us to stay fit," said Gurpreet.