In past few months, North eastern states have given joy to the country with their football skills. The region, known for being one of football’s biggest hotbeds in the country has got its due as Clubs from the region, Aizawl FC and Neroca FC crowned champions in I-league and Second division league respectively, and the whole footballing World is now taking notice of football talent that the region boasts of.
Potsangbam Renedy Singh, currently the assistant coach of FC Pune City, is one of the biggest names from the region to don Indian colors. Singh believes that the series of footballing events this year is a success story not only for the state but for the country as a whole.
Speaking about the importance of these performances, Renedy Singh said, “The contribution of Aizawl FC, Shillong Lajong and Neroca FC will not only amplify the love for Football in Northeast India but also provides hope for other cities and states to develop football and create their own success story. The future of Indian football should stem from having teams from across the country. We need more participation from states like Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Rajasthan or even football centric cities like Siliguri, Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad to revolutionise football in India”
Further, when asked about the dual league and its implications on the players, Renedy said, “It’s too early to talk about the roadmap and we will receive clarity only post the AFC meeting on 7th June where we will be present as well. As the President of the FPAI, I will be more than happy if there were 20 or even 30 teams playing throughout the year in a longer league format and players are provided extended contracts. Longer leagues will only make the Indian football ecosystem sustainable for the clubs as well as the players.”
“The positive side of having multiple leagues is that we get an opportunity to see an increase in the number of players and the same players don’t juggle between two clubs in a year. More players will be employed, and will get an opportunity to play at a professional level. This system will also help the national team and the overall player development, as we will see 400 to 500 professional players competing at the national level compared to 150 to 200 players we have seen in the past 2 to 3 seasons. That is the only way wherein we can see active participation of players from various states across the country”, Renedy added.
While the nation waits to see the direction that the stakeholders meeting at Kuala Lumpur takes on 7th June, it continues to embrace the footballing success of Northeast India with a hope of seeing this success translated to the national team through a sustained football environment.