IMPHAL, Sept 24, 2017: It is a known fact that the Northeastern region of the country is home to many talented footballers and history stands testimony to this claim.
To name as a few – India’s former captain Baichung Bhutia from Sikkim, professional players like Jeje Lalpekhlua from Mizoram, Eugeneson Lyngdoh from Meghalaya, Seityasen Singh and Reagan Singh from Manipur, Former Captain of the Woman Indian team Oinam Bembem Devi besides others.
You’d be pleased to learn that the boys selected to represent the country in the upcoming U-17 FIFA World Cup 2017 are mostly from Manipur. Out of the 21 players selected in the Indian squad for next month’s under-17 World Cup, eight are from Manipur also known as the ‘”nursery of footballing talent in the country”.
The Indian Express reported that Manipur’s performance at the youth tournaments is one of the main the reasons why they dominate this team.
In February 2015, India under-17 coach Nicolai Adam was taken to the North East and left the region along with players who would make half of his squad. Adam quit earlier this year but the players he picked made the cut when the team was announced recently.
Former India captain Renedy Singh remarked that “Unlike Mizoram, who have one of the best structures, there was no planning from the Manipur association.”
Renedy hopes this will be the catalyst for change. “But there has to be serious effort. By making this far, these boys have shown that their physique is not a hinderance. These players might be short. But they are also the most skilful,” he added.
TNT News with inputs from Indian Express
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