Hitova Ayemi
NEWS

Naga footballer continues dream run to join top I-League club

20-year-old striker from Kohima signs up with defending champions Minerva Punjab FC for two years

Kohima: When you pursue something, do it with your heart and mind, says Hitova Ayemi, a 20-year-old footballer from Nagaland. It was this passion that helped Hitova to find a place in DSK Shivajians FC, a Pune-based I-League Club, in 2016. Two years on, his dream run continues, as he signs up with the defending champions of I-League, Minerva Punjab, to play for the football club for two years.

Hitova, a native of Kohima, previously played for Fateh Hyderabad FC, besides DSK Shivajians.

"I had the passion for the game right from my early childood. I am also thankful to my parents for their unconditional support,” says Hitova, who dreams of playing in the Indian national team someday.

Hitova's big break came when he was invited by Shillong Lajong FC after his 10th standard. However, he went to South Korea to train for two months after a short stint at Shillong Lajong. He was selected by DSK Shivajians upon his return from South Korea.

Hitova’s big break came when he was invited by Shillong Lajong FC after his 10th standard 

Commenting on his favourite player, Spanish footballer Sergi Roberto, Hitova says: “Other than being a technical player, he also has great character. He lets his game do the talking. Being impactful from La Masia, he has worked up the ranks and is now one of the captains of FC Barcelona, which I find is truly inspiring.”

Hitova likes to play in a technical way making quick passes and indirect runs. “Fast-paced games with a lot of dribbling always make it difficult for the defenders to anticipate what will happen,” he says, adding: "I like to keep them (the defenders) guessing."

The message that he wants to give out to aspiring footballers is: "Don’t let setbacks demotivate you since they are a part of the game. Never lose hope and play like your life is on the line."

(You can reach us at editor@eastmojo.com)