Manipur:Ngaraipam Kasomhung to debut for Sudeva Delhi FC in I-League
Imphal: The love for football in Manipur is both well-known and well-documented. It is common to find at least one member in every family who is an avid fan of the game. So far, the state has produced acclaimed footballers of national stature, and there is a new name on the list now.
Ngaraipam Kasomhung, 28, hails from Hungpung village in Ukhrul district. He has been associated with football for as long as he can remember.
Recalling his early days, Kasomhug says he used to thronged the playing fields in his neighbourhood and played football made of old clothes or plastic. "That’s how football was deeply ingrained on me," said Ngaraipam, who is all set to debut at the upcoming Hero I-League in Kolkata.
"During the Christmas celebration, I used to play for the local tournament for the U-5 level and continued participated at various other locally-based sports events," he added.
In 2010, Ngaraipam played for Ukhrul FC as a professional player. Since then, there has been no stopping him. He went on to play for professional football clubs like TRAU FC, Mohun Bagan and Yarkhok FC.
Ngaraipam has been recently featured as a defender in the Sudeva Delhi FC team, one of the newest football teams in the latest season of the Hero I-League. Currently, he is undergoing training in the national capital along with his team under coaches Chencho Dorji and Pushpender Kundu.
“I am happy. I expressed my gratitude to Anuj Gupta and Vijay Hakari, the co-founders of Sudeva Delhi FC, for their trust and giving me this opportunity to be part of the senior team for I-League. I am putting my soul and mind into the league,” said Apam, as he is commonly known by his friends.
A die-hard fan of a Dutch footballer Virgil van Dijk, who plays for Liverpool FC as a defender, Apam is looking forward to making his mark in the Indian Super League (ISL).
Having experienced the hard reality of the Ukhrul, which has little to offer terms of football infrastructure and other facilities, Apam is also aiming to address this issue after his retirement.
"After retirement, I would like to become a coach to train young prospective footballers from my place and to ensure that younger players can progress into the professional football community," added Apam.
According to him, anyone could become a football player, however, to play as a professional, it requires ample amount of dedication, hard work and most importantly loves for the game holistically.
Apam further said that one could build a career in sports, but one needs to be well-disciplined both inside and outside the field and stay away from all such intoxicant activities. Respecting your opponents, teammates and coaches just the way we respect our parents is significant for a sportsperson. Believe in yourself and self-confidence, he added.