Manipur steals the show at the Indian Under 17 FIFA World Cup team – 8 out of 21 players are from the state
Since Under 17 FIFA World Cup will begin from next month, India is all set to host and participate in their first World Cup ever. For this big tournament, a total of 21 players were selected. Interestingly out of these 21 selected players, eight are from Manipur!!
Nicolai Adam was appointed as India under-17 coach in February 2015. After his appointment, Adam was taken to North East India, which is considered as the home to country’s most talented footballers. Adam rejected roughly 70 to 80 players from Meghalaya, Sikkim, Mizoram and Manipur because they were too short. But he realized that skill-set possessed by the players from Manipur was far superior to others. Even though Adam quit earlier this year but the players he picked made it to the national team.
Manipur’s performance at the youth tournaments is one of the main the reasons why they dominate this team. The players selected from Manipur are – Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Boris Singh Thangjam, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Khumanthem Ninthoinganba Meetei, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Mohammad Shahjahan, Jeakson Singh Thaunaojam and Nongdamba Naorem.
Amarjit Singh will lead the Indian squad. He was selected as the captain by the team through voting. Amarjit was born and brought up in Manipur and started his training at the Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA). Amarjit caught the immediate attention of all the selectors during the trials for the Indian team for the Under-17 World Cup.