India U-17 football team coach Luis Norton de Matos, who also guides the I-League team Indian Arrows, is not very happy with the fact that his team's star goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem left the club prematurely to try out in trials abroad.
The Indian Arrows football team returned at the Indian football main stage for the 2017-18 season after years of absence.
The Manipuri custodian, Dheeraj, has been the most standout player for the India U-17 football team in the FIFA World Cup in 2017, even though the hosts conceded in all of their three games in the tournament. Dheeraj's saves, agility and positioning remained the top draws.
He last played for the Indian Arrows against Mohun Bagan a couple of days back as the result turned out to be a 1-1 draw at the Mohun Bagan Club Ground in Kolkata Maidan. Dheeraj was asked to sign on at least a three-year contract with the I-League developmental side, which he refused in order to pursue his foreign ambitions.
Dheeraj is set to travel to Scotland to have trials with Scottish professional football club Motherwell FC. He has also been linked with trials at League One clubs -- Blackburn Rovers and Charlton Athletic FC. Reports have also come up that even Premier League side West Ham are closely monitoring him.
While it needs to be seen how the trials actually pan out in foreign shores, Norton de Matos is not happy with the fact that the talented custodian has left midway in the season.
"You know with this kind of level of players, even in Europe is the same," the Portuguese tactician mentioned in the Indian Arrows vs East Bengal pre-match press conference in New Delhi, on Monday.
"Around players there are a lot of agents, advisers. These people don't know what is the process of development for players. I think the best for Dheeraj will be to play the I-League.
"And after I-League if he has to take a trial in Europe, he will have 12-13 matches under his belt, that will give him more confidence to take these trials," Matos added.
(with IANS inputs)