Teachers are expected to treat their students fairly and favor no one. Holger Seitz is also a teacher, as sporting director on the FC Bayern campus, training and preparing talented players for professional football. It usually does not show any weaknesses. There are no typical students, all trainees are the same.
However, when Seitz talks about Sarpreet Singh, who worked with him as a third-tier reserve coach after moving from Wellington Phoenix in the 2019/20 season, the 47-year-old gets excited: “He’s a footballer who makes the difference,” Seitz says. He can launch something and decide the games.”
The New Zealander of Indian descent, who celebrates his 23rd birthday on Sunday, is showing these skills this season for second-tier club SSV Jahn Regensburg. The club’s top three positions for most of the first half of the season had a lot to do with Singh, who has scored five goals and 8 assists this season. “We’re a real team, we stick to each other. And I’m totally immersed,” he says.
Coach Mirsad Selimgovic relies on the multi-level midfielder, who prefers to play in the ten zone or the left half: “He believes in me and allows me to play my game. And when I feel confident, I am at my best, says Singh, he can allow himself a bad pass or He loses the ball, saying, “But the coach can assume that I rarely make wrong decisions because I have his support.”
Singh didn’t get along at all at Nuremberg – he’s been through the toughest phase of his career so far
According to the New Zealander, the fact that things are not going well for Upper Palatinate in the league – he has lost six of his last seven games – is due only to small things: “In almost every game he lost, at least a draw was possible”. The league is very tight, anyone can beat anyone. “It’s all about the details,” Singh says. “When you put these things on your side and start running, everything can change very quickly.”
In the first leg on Saturday (8:30 pm) at 1. FC Nürnberg, the knot could be blown. It was there that Singh had to go through the most difficult phase of his career so far. In the summer of 2020, Bayern Munich loaned him to Valznerweiher, he must train for matches at a higher level. But the young man, who came to Germany from the other side of the world, had problems adapting in Nuremberg from the very beginning. He didn’t reach his usual level, and failed to secure an ordinary spot, which only made matters worse. “When you sit on the bench you lose your rhythm and then you lose confidence in your abilities,” he says. He would have preferred not to present more about the time in Nuremberg.
With the New Zealand national team, Singh wants to go to Qatar to participate in the World Cup. However, he cannot play in all the qualifiers
He says he is glad he now has “a job to do” in Regensburg. While he was homesick in Nuremberg and traveled back to New Zealand for three months after the early completion of the loan deal in January 2021, this is not necessary at the moment, as he asserts: “If you play well, you also feel off the field. Europe, I only have football to make me feel good because I’m all alone here and I don’t have my family.”
Singh is an athlete with a sensitive side but also a footballer with goals. This includes qualification for the World Cup in Qatar by selecting New Zealand. The Oceania tour will take place at the end of March and he probably won’t be able to be there all the time because the matches overlap with the second division. But he says the chances of winning the continental qualifiers are good. In this case, the fourth-placed team in the final group for North and Central America will face off in June for a World Cup ticket, possibly against Costa Rica or Panama.
He still has high goals in his career with the club. He dreams of asserting himself at Bayern – as much as that sounds. After all, the club he’s still under contract with is Top of the Tops. So far it is not clear how things will play out for him in the summer when the loan agreement expires. “It’s still early days, we’re in the middle of the season and I’m totally focused on Jan. We’ll see what happens, I’m open to anything,” Singh says. The most important thing for him is that he gets seasons. He can also imagine extending the loan.
“At the moment he is absolutely right with Jan,” Seitz, the sporting director of the Bayern Munich campus, agrees. Whether this will also apply to next season is not definitively discussed. In any case, abandoning Singh completely is “inconceivable,” Seitz asserts: “Everything is evolving the way we imagine it. And I’m sure there’s more to come.”
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