ATK's Komal Thatal called up for national team camp
New Delhi : Young ATK winger Komal Thatal has been called to the senior national team camp by coach Stephen Constantine ahead of India's international friendly against Jordan on November 17 in Amman.
This was after Bengaluru FC forward Sunil Chhetri suffered a grade one ankle tear in their 2-1 victory over Kerala Blasters in an Indian Super League (ISL) match last week, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced in a statement on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old Komal, who participated in India's maiden Under-17 World Cup last year, has been impressive for Steve Coppell's ATK in the ISL this season.
"Komal is a player. When you look at someone the way he maneuvers, runs with the ball, some look manufactured and some look more natural. He is a player. He just turned 18 years of age. As I saw him in the pre-season games and I wouldn't be surprised if he figures in most of the games this season. He is very much in my plans," Coppell had said ahead of the ongoing ISL season.
He has featured extensively for ATK, having accumulated 340 minutes of game time. He also scored his first senior goal when he found the back of the net against India and Bengaluru FC custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
"Komal did very well for us. He's got energy and he's got legs. He's very skilful on the ball. He likes having possession," explained Coppell.
Thatal is known for his ability to get the better of a defender in tight situations. His best performance in the Indian junior team was when he scored the equaliser against Brazil in the Under-17 BRICS tournament.
Thatal has followed the likes of Jerry Lalrinzuala, Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC) and Ashique Kuruniyan (FC Pune City) to have made it into the senior team after a breakthrough season in the ISL.