Jeje Lalpekhlua is the first from Mizoram to win the Player of the Year award and the sixth from the northeast region after Baichung Bhutia, Tomba Singh, Surkumar Singh, Gouramangi Singh and Eugeneson Lyngdoh. The award was insituted in 1992.
Asked on anyone can be dropped from the Indian football team on current form, while speaking to newsmen said, “In the last two years, so many new players have come into the national team set-up. There is not a single player in the team who takes his position for granted.”
“There are so many players vying for every position in the team. Even my position is not secure, neither is that of Sunil Chhetri or anyone, the 25-year-old Mizoram striker added.
The former Pune FC marksman also lifted the Federation Cup with Mohan Bagan, ending as the top scorer in the tournament with eight goals from five matches. He played two World Cup qualifier matches in Indian colours, while also scoring two goals in friendlies. Overall, Jeje scored five times for his country.
Looking ahead, Jeje said 2017 will be a very important year for the national team with the third round of 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers on the horizon.” It will be very important. We have improved our ranking (135) and anywhere you travel, people first ask you about that,” Jeje added
The draw for the Asian Cup qualifiers will be held on January 23 and India would be playing their first match on March 28.
Image: Internet Sources