Subroto Cup: Shillong Lajong display stellar performance and now advance to QF


Shillong Lajong Academy has had a great run of games in the U-17 Subroto Cup International Football Tournament as they have won all four matches in the group stages with the last one being against Delhi Dynamos where they beat the home side 4-0. The young players have played exceptionally well and have now advanced to the Quarter Finals stage of the tournament.

Shillong Lajong FC Head of Youth Development Gumpe Rime spoke to TNT-The Northeast Today about what the club is doing in terms of promoting the youth and the development of the grassroots programme. On being asked about the youth development policy the club takes, Rime says," We have started our grassroots programme last year which is and will be a continuous process and encourages kids to come out and play football, here we identify the ones with good potential. We then have our age group teams in process, all with a gap of 2 years (U-12, U-14 etc…)."

Shillong Lajong encourages playing and training from a very young age so as to ensure that the right talent is picked up and groomed in a systematic and progressive way. The Academy believes it is important to put the focus on the team rather than individuals at this level. There are a few boys who are shining in the Subroto Cup tournament but the club puts upmost importance in team work and team spirit.

Age cheating is something that continues to plague Indian football and has been an issue which has been long discussed, on being asked on how to help tackle this issue, Rime says,"Yes, it is quite rampant across the country and is a difficult task to control but as a club, we do not encourage that at all and all our boys are checked medically (x-ray/MRI) and then registered accordingly. Since we have started the grassroots programme, we register them at an early age and collect all the details of the child such as their birth dates etc…"

The U-17 boys will now take on Clube Atletico Paranaense on Monday at 2 pm and fans across the Northeast will hope that the team will continue their good form. The final of the tournament will take place on October 22 with Brazilian legend Rivaldo to be in attendance.

-By Jessica Passah for TNT-The Northeast Today


(Image Courtesy: Subroto Cup Football Tournament