It’s the time of the year when Indian football admirers have lots to ponder on. Even before the Federation Cup mania could sink in, Santosh Trophy grabbed all the eyeballs and along with it, the fever for the inaugural U-19 I-League has started to heat up.
Making a mark for the very first time in this event, the Rangdajied United U-19 team was formed right after the Club won the I-League 2nd Division last year, and are aiming to form a supply line to the senior team.
Even within a year, the project started reaping benefits with many of the U-19 boys representing their senior team in the Shillong Premier League, which Rangdajied United FC won without being beaten in any of the game.
Those who were not part of the senior team have other laurels to brag about. Most were part of the Rangdajied team that had finished runners up in the U-19 Shillong Premier League last year.
And the rest were with the Meghalaya team (OM Memorial Secondary School), which lifted the U-17 Subroto Cup in New Delhi last November.
Hence, “The Chosen Boys” are going into the junior I-League with lots of confidence and experience behind them. Another speciality about the Rangdajied U-19 team is that it is completely formed with local boys.
“None of them are from outside Meghalaya,” assistant coach Lekini Suting points out.
“This gives us an added advantage as they all gel well, speak a common language and have similar frame of mind, culture, living habits and standards. And all these translate very well on their field performance,” Suting added.
Mebanshan Suting, who turned 17 just few months back and was adjudged as the best player in the Subroto Cup, is one of the many players to look out for in the tournament.
“It feels great that we will be playing in a national level tournament and we will give our best shots to come out the winner. We have practiced hard, trained hard and so there is nothing to fear. We will just have to perform according to how our coach plan,” he said.
Bisharlang Kharumnuid, who stands like a rock in Randajied’s last line of defence, too shares the same sentiments. “We know our opponents well. We have played with them time and again. So, at least the Shillong Leg shouldn’t be a big problem for us. We are confident,” the skipper, who had featured regularly for the senior team in Shillong Premier League said.
Talking about their training and fitness regime, Mr Suting said, “We train for 4-5 days a week where football methods, skills and tricks hold prime importance. On the physical aspect, we focus on agility, speed and endurance.”
Having imbibed what they have been taught, it’s just a matter of days before boys put their learning to tests, in what would so far be the biggest tournament for them. Rangdajied will start their campaign against rivals Shillong Lajong in the opening match of the Shillong Leg at the Third Ground in Polo.
A 25-member squad for the same was also announced on the occasion.
Goalkeepers:Melverick Nongkhlaw (1), Sunshine Kharmuti (29), Ferdinand Makri (30).
Defenders:Allen Camper Lyngdoh Nongbri (22), Mynjurlang Nongkseh (19), Mebankhraw Wahlang (21), Overjoy Syiemsad (5), Greatstar Nongneng (6), Bisharlang Kharumnuid (Captain) (20), Pynkhrawbok Kurbah (2), Pynskhem-i-tre Dkhar (3).
Midfielders:Eddie Basaiawmoit (13), Donborlang Nongkynrih (14), Reson Malngiang (11), Evestarly Rynjah (17), Jeson Malngiang (16), Banshanlang Nongdhar (15), Marchstarfield Marbaniang (8), Bobbystar Malngiang (7), Belton Lartang (9).
Forwards:Jefferson Nongrud (12), Michael Kurbah (18), Sheen Steven Sohktung (10), Mebanshan Suting (4), Gameliel Kharlyngdoh (23).
Coach: Khlain Pyrkhat Syiemlieh
Asst. Coach: Lekini Suting
Manager: Arki Myliem Umlong
Asst. Managers: Rei Umdor and Rogest Basaiawmoit
Physio: Jonathan Kharbudnah
Courtesy: Rangdajied United Media