Last month,during the Indian U-19 teams exposure trip to China which was part of the preparation for the AFC U-19 Qualifiers,Indian u-19 head coach Colm Joseph Toal and other coaching staff sweated over the fitness of Khiangte Lamramzauva. More than his captaincy,it is the calmness,the vision that Khiangte brings in his game that makes him such an integral part of Colms plan.
When the fully-fit Khiangte took part in matches against the Chinese teams,the results were more than heartening. A 2-2 draw with Shanghai City Games U-19 team was followed with a 4-0 thrashing of China U-17 team and they ended the exposure trip on a high with a 6-0 whitewashing of China U-16 team.
On Sunday,Indian U-19 football team,with three city footballers,boarded a flight to Doha where they will take part in the AFC U-19 Championship (Qualifiers) to be held in Doha,Qatar from October 4. Chandigarh Football Academy trainees Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Khiangte Lalramzauva,and St Stephen Football Academys Mohammad Sajid Dhot,who are part of the 23-member Indian team for the AFC U-19 Championship,have become an indepensable part of the Indian U-19 team and will gear up to show why they are held in high regards by Colm and co.
I spoke to the AIFF Elite Academy coaches on Friday and they were very happy with the way Daniel,Arjit (as Khiangte is known among friends) and Sajid are performing. Khiangtes fitness was another bonus for them. They often tell me how they love to see these players in action. I am happy with the way their career graph is shaping up, shared Harjinder Singh,who is the coach of Chandigarh Football Academy and has acted as a catalyst in the fledging career of these three players. Daniel,Khiangte and Sajid had repressented India in the final phase of the U-16 AFC Qualifiers in 2011 in Tehran where they had drawn 2-2 with the then U-16 Chinese National team.
While Daniel has been one of the prolific scorers for the team,Khiangte and Sajid have skippered the Indian U-16 team in the past.
I would love to have these players in our team for the on going Administrators Challenge Cup All India Football Tournament (U-17). Last year,they played stellar roles in helping our team win the title but now I know their career is more important. I have been told that the AIFF will give a months rest to these players,so I can’t have them for Subroto Cup also. Any team will be delighted to have them in their ranks. In fact,Dempo SC are keen to sign Daniel as soon as possible. Sajid and Khiangte are also in demand. Their future is bright, added Harjinder. At 16,Daniel and Khiangte are a year older than Sajid who at 15 is one of the youngest players in the Indian U-19 team. India have been clubbed with hosts Qatar,Uzbekistan,Turkmenistan and Nepal in Group A. They will play their first match against Qatar on October 4 followed by matches against Nepal,Uzbekistan,and Turkmenistan.