Shillong United FC’s Nicholas Jyrwa who is also an AIFF Match Commissioner talks sports and much more!


TNT-The Northeast Today: Congratulations Nicholas on this great feat. So how do you feel about the honour vested on you?

NJ: Thank you so much for your wishes. I would like to thank God, my parents, grandmother, brothers and sisters, my friends, my colleagues from Shillong College, my teachers at St. Edmund's School and staff at Shillong United FC for having put faith in me and allowing me to choose a dream that I am living now. It's an honour and I feel privileged to be one of AIFF's Match Commissioner.

TNT-The Northeast Today: Can you please tell me more about yourself?

NJ:I finished my schooling from St. Edmund's School in 2002 and consequently finished my 12th from St. Edmund's College in 2004. My main aim then was to join the Indian Armed Forces but unfortunately I could not clear the NDA exam. Thereafter I went to Madan Mohan Malviya Engineering College, Gorakhpur to pursue my in Computer Science and Engineering and completed it in 2008.

I started teaching Computer Science in Shillong College in 2010. I was happy teaching but I felt there was a lack of motivation in my life. I did not want  to teach as I found it to be a monotonous profession. So I volunteered to help Highlife Event Management Consultancy Private Ltd., Kolkata with their annual talent and scouting programme. The experience ranged from writing letters to different government organisations, distributing forms to schools, organising medical check-up camps and to run operations at the local and national level. The short time frame taught me a lot about organizing sporting events.

The knowledge helped me and I went on to study my MBA in Sports Management from the European University Real Madrid, Madrid, Spain in 2013. The international nature of this program enabled me to obtain the broadest possible perspective on all existing sports management models, not only in Spain but also beyond its borders, thanks to the participation of a top-class international faculty. It was a unique experience that gave us exposure to Real Madrid, one of the world's greatest ever sporting institutions, academic excellence, real practical cases and a vast network in the sports industry.

Thankfully in September 2014, Mr. Dominic Sutnga, the Managing Director of Royal Wahingdoh FC (now Shillong United FC) and Mr. Anoop Abraham D'mello, offered me the post of the General Manager of the club where I am working with great zeal and enthusiasm.

TNT-The Northeast Today: How do you define yourself, Is there more interest in you now that you are relatively famous?

NJ:Well I won't say that I am famous. I am still learning so many things regarding sports in general and football in particular. Sport is one such arena where success and failures can be judged from time to time. I really love a quote from Spiderman –"With great power comes great responsibility,"I try to live by it each day.

 TNT-The Northeast Today: What criteria do you use to evaluate the qualities of a player?

NJ:In football there's an old saying, "Together Everyone Achieves More." This is very true but the individual plays a big part too and that balance must be found. We at the club believe that excellence is chasing the performance goals and letting the results  take care of themselves. A player should perfect the course of performance and not allow the pressure of the result to clog his performance. A player should also know that if he breeds ego and arrogance, he doesn't need an opponent.

TNT-The Northeast Today: Challenges for Northeast India football?

NJ: Northeast India is a region known for its footballing culture. Though it represents only 3% of the country's population, 20 % of the players in top flight clubs in the country are from this region. These statistics are enough to prove that Northeast India is the "Gold Mine"of Indian Football.

a) Developing world class infrastructure should be given top priority where grounds will also be used for practice and as well as matches. Exhibition games can also be organized from time to time which can put the Northeastern region on the global map.

b) Talent needs to be recognized and tapped at a very young age. It was Rob Bann, the former Technical Director of All India Football Federation, who once said, "The natural talent of the young Northeast kids are no inferior to the Dutch kids; but if they are not taught the right way, fed with proper nutrition and provided age level competitions, their talents will be wasted."

c) Above all, football as a walk of life must be made available to everyone from all walks of society. Community engagement is imperative and the basis of grassroots development. I believe that a long term mindset involving the community would go a long way towards maximizing the potential that the footballing culture of Northeast India has to offer.

(by Christopher Gatphoh)

Featured image(courtesy): YouTube