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Lyngdoh making up for lost time

Eugeneson Lyngdoh wasn’t serious about a career in football even though he turned up regularly for Ar-Hima club (later Rangdajied) where his father was the president. It was when he failed to clear his third year engineering exams, Eugeneson thought of an alternative career as a professional footballer.

It is a decision which he doesn’t regret either.Voted as AIFF Player-of-the-Year 2015, Eugeneson is a player any coach would love to have in his team. His creativity and goal-scoring skills have often been beneficial for his clubs — Bengaluru FC and Pune City FC in the I-League and ISL respectively — and his coaches would vouch for that.

Pune City paid Rs.1.05 crore to procure his services for the ISL. Though Pune City failed to qualify for the semifinals, Eugeneson had his moments. Eugeneson credits Pune coach David Platt and Bengaluru coach Ashley Westwood for making him a better player.

“I am what I am because of BFC and Westwood. He (Platt) is a coach who has given me a lot of confidence. It is not just what he does on the field but what he tells the players which help them develop. He has helped boost my confidence and I also learnt a lot after sharing the dressing room with players like Zokora and Sanli in the ISL,” he said.

The AIFF award was the culmination of a fine productive season for this late bloomer who made his international debut against Nepal in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers early this year.

A dream come true

Though the call-up to the India team came late, Eugeneson makes no bones of the fact that it was a dream come true for him.

“Every boy in the country dreams of playing for the national team. For me getting my first cap versus Nepal was good. I wished it could have happened earlier. But I was busy with my studies which I couldn’t complete. But I have no regrets,” said the player, who is a great fan of fellow India players Climax Lawrence, Rocus Lamare and Renedy Singh.

Despite being acclaimed as one of the best midfielders in India, Eugeneson rules out any move to try his luck in a foreign league. “Someone like Gurpreet is at a good age to be abroad. I am quite old. So going abroad is not very ideal at this age. But I think if I were a little younger, I would have wanted to go abroad. But as of now I don’t see it happening. I am very happy at a club like BFC,” he said.

The midfielder is obviously thrilled to be part of the India team for the SAFF Suzuki Cup and he wants to sign off the season on a high note.

“This is the first tournament I will be playing for the country apart from the World Cup qualifiers. So I am looking forward to it. I want to do my best and win it for the country,’’ he said.


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