Seven boys from our Under-15 team have been selected for the Finals of the India Bayern Munich Youth Cup.
The boys representing SLFC are as follows :
1. Pirei Shokwungnao ( Manipur)
2. Marbiangki Suchinang ( Meghalaya)
3. Imliakum Longkumer ( Nagaland)
4. Malsawmkima( Mizoram)
5. Founder Passah( Meghalaya)
6. Jesterwell Shangpliang( Meghalya)
7. Maitshaphrang Nengnong ( Meghalaya)
Shillong Lajong is making waves in Indian football, be it reaching the semi-finals of the Federation or repeating the same at the Durand Cup. The style of play they employ is a very attractive style of wing play, and backed up by some of the best fans of the country. It makes for a deadly combination, and will no doubt turn the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong into a fortress.
But now, lets turn our attention to the system that is producing such talent. The success of Shillong Lajong can be credited to its incredible youth development system. The club makes an effort to scout for talent in the North Eastern region of India, and the showing of this new talent has been quite impressive.
In 2010, six players were selected from India to attend a camp in Munich and to train with FC Bayern. Four of these boys (Ram Chettri, Suman Rai, Donborlang Nongkynrih, Jacob Lalrawngbawla) were from Lajong, so that’s a stat that speaks for itself. On watching these boys play, FC Bayern’s chief scout Hermann Hummels was very impressed, while German legend Paul Breitner was all praise for these boys, calling them incredibly talented and motivated.
However, Shillong had an even more impressive showing at the recently concluded FC Bayern Youth Cup India in New Delhi where 7 of the 15 selected were from the Lajong U-15 side.
Shillong Lajong U15′s at the Bayern Youth Cup India
However, there were two stand out performers in Jesterwell Shangpliang and Maitshaphrang Nengnong. Jesterwell Shangliang was pure class, cutting past defenders at any given opportunity, he combined with the other forward and midfielders even rotating his position effectively so as to employ the total football style of play in a randomly put together team. His skill on the ball was superb, leaving the defenders flabbergasted and the spectators amazed. He is definitely a future star for India.
Jesterwell (White Number 10 with the ball) on one of his menacing runs as he tries to looks to score.
Maitshaphrang Nengnong was much more of the same, playing on the wings at times and creating plays where none seemed to exist.
The other Shillong midfielders were very also very good, combining with their respective team-mates to dazzle the FC Bayern coaches. They looked strong and agile, and showed this through their game. They never seemed afraid to take on bigger and physically stronger opponents, or to play the fancy pass.
A Shillong player cuts past 4 defenders and the goalkeeper to score.
While most of the Lajong players were well settled, and able to compete and sometimes overpower their opponents physically, there was one Vami Longvah who just lost out there. It was evident that he had the skill and the right ideas, but was just not able to translate it. The Shillong youth manager later informed me that it was just his 3rd month with the club, and he was just 12 years old. A bright future prospect for Indian football indeed.
The team will now be travelling to Bengaluru in November where they participate in the Leapfrog football tournament. The best 6 boys of the tournament will be selected to train with the Tottenham Hotspur side in England.
Shillong with a good youth development system has gained where traditionally succesfull clubs like East bengal and Mohun Bagan have lost out.
What the club has done is that it has combined its facilities with the proper exposure to help their boys achieve success to the best of their potential and in doing this, it has not only achieved its own goals of improving the standard of football in Meghalaya but surpassed them by improving the standard of football in India as a whole.
Article Courtesy: sportskeeda.com