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Indian Football Will Benefit From Corporate Investment at Grassroots, Says Eugeneson Lyngdoh

A few years into the 21st century, a young engineering student had a choice to make between academics and football. Thankfully for Indian football, Eugeneson Lyngdoh chose to find a career in the said sport, which for more than a decade now, is seeing more of the spotlight.

Abhimanyu Sen | News18 Sports

Updated:April 20, 2018, 10:22 AM IST
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Indian Football Will Benefit From Corporate Investment at Grassroots, Says Eugeneson Lyngdoh
A few years into the 21st century, a young engineering student had a choice to make between academics and football. Thankfully for Indian football, Eugeneson Lyngdoh chose to find a career in the said sport, which for more than a decade now, is seeing more of the spotlight.
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New Delhi: A few years into the 21st century, a young engineering student had a choice to make between academics and football. Thankfully for Indian football, Eugeneson Lyngdoh chose to find a career in the said sport, which for more than a decade now, is seeing more of the spotlight.

Currently, the 31-year old is on the recovery trail from a knee injury which he picked up during ATK’s match against Jamshedpur FC in the early rounds of the fourth season of the Indian Super League.

A late bloomer in comparison to most in the sport, Eugeneson believes he could have been a better player had his journey begun earlier and is very impressed by the current upsurge in focus on development.

“Baby Leagues is a very good thing as it provides a good platform to start at.. Here the youngsters have to play to enjoy the game. Developing that passion is more important as the competitiveness will come slowly,” the India midfielder says on the sidelines of the Adidas Tango League.

“Even amateur footballers have something like the Tango League. It would have been great to have similar facilities earlier. I’m pretty sure I would have been a better player,” the midfielder adds.

“Corporate sponsorship at the grassroot level will only help. Reliance has done a good job with their programmes and companies like Adidas can always help.”

Lyngdoh though acknowledges the problems of age fraud that are being highlighted in the sport at various levels and makes it clear that there is no place for something that quite literally adds up to cheating.

“Age Manipulation at any level is unacceptable and there has to be strict rules that have to be put in place to stop it,” he says, before adding , “the player should also realise the dangers of getting exposed and spoiling the career he worked so hard for.”

The Indian midfielder’s season did not go as he expected or would have liked it to go, but he did enjoy and take every chance to make use of time in training with the former Premier League forwards Robbie Keane and Teddy Sheringham.

“It was unfortunate that Teddy Sheringham’s stint ended early and the team wasn’t performing, but they taught us a lot of things. It was always good to see Robbie Keane lead by example, he’d replicate what he’d say in training.”

While the domestic season is almost done and dusted, for Eugeneson the next target is ensuring he is fit and firing so that he can be his usual devastating self in midfield for the Indian team at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The Indian team in recent memory has stitched together some good results and the improved FIFA ranking has brought about an air of positivity.

But there are improvements that need to be made, and the midfielder, who, when fit is crucial part of Stephen Constantine’s set up is hopeful of ironing out the flaws.

“At the Asian Cup, we will up against some very strong teams, both technically and physically. We have had problems with lapses in concentration and being not alert to start with. We have to solve these problems before anything else to start with,” Lyngdoh signs off.
| Edited by: Madhav Agarwal
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