India’s under-17 goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem began his trial at Scottish Premiership club Motherwell FC on Thursday, with the club confirming that he joined the team straight away in training.
Dheeraj, who was India’s first-choice goalkeeper at the Fifa under-17 World Cup last year, was the standout performer in the three defeats, earning plaudits for his agility between the goalposts. The youngster quit Indian Arrows, the All India Football Federation’s developmental squad playing in the I- League, after the end of his contract on December 31, 2017, with growing interest in his services from foreign clubs.
Dheeraj had a stint under former England goalkeeper David James at Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Kerala Blasters before leaving for Scotland.
In case he manages to impress the coaches at Motherwell FC, Dheeraj will still have to wait till July, when he turns 18, to obtain an international transfer. Dheeraj’s trial in Scotland is expected to last for three weeks.
Dheeraj will look to follow in the footsteps of India’s current No 1, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who blazed a trail by becoming the first Indian to play in a European first division league, when he signed for Norway’s Stabaek. Gurpreet even went on to play in the Europa League (albeit just one game where he got injured) before returning to India for a stint with Bengaluru FC in the ISL.