Shillong: Meghalaya lad Aibanbha Dohling has joined FC Goa on a two-year deal till the end of 2020-21 season, the franchise officially announced on Friday.
The 23-year-old native of Cherrapunji made 19 appearances for Shillong Lajong in the 2018-19 I-League season. The defender made his debut for his home state during the 2017-18 season after having joined them as a youth product.
His first experience of Goa arrived in 2010 when he won the India leg of the Under-15 Nike Manchester United Premier Cup with the Lajong team to win a trip to England, where he faced the Red Devils.
Dohling left the Lajong youth set-up in 2012 to join the prestigious Tata Football Academy in Jamshedpur where he played alongside fellow Gaur Chinglensana Singh. The centre-back spent four years at TFA before rejoining Lajong.
Versatility is a big part of Dohling’s game, as is his ability to play with the ball. A self-styled ‘ball-playing defender’, Dohling was part of a young all-Indian Lajong side in the previous I-League season.
“I am very pleased to have joined FC Goa because I love their style of play and I think I can make a contribution with the way that I like to pass and play with the ball. It is a big reason as to why I chose FC Goa as the team to join,” Dohling was quoted as saying in a release issued by the franchise here.
Ravi Puskur, head of technical operations, FC Goa, said, “We are glad to have acquired the services of Aiban. He is a player with a physical presence, has a strong aerial game and is comfortable on the ball. These are all qualities that we look for in our center backs and are fundamental to succeeding in our style of play. With Aiban, we are confident he will demonstrate these qualities and increase the competition for places within the team.”
On June 21, Shillong Lajong Football Club had posted on its official Facebook page: “After spending an incredible five seasons at Lajong (2010-2012 | 2016-2019) Aibanbha Kupar Dohling is all set to embark on a new journey. This young lad from Cherrapunji, Meghalaya is special and we believe he will achieve great success in his new Club and make every football loving Meghalayan proud of him. Thank you for all the wonderful memories Aiban and we wish you the best always.”