The Mizoram-born custodian is among the brightest goalkeeping prospects within the nation proper now…
As a part of our NxGn India sequence, Goal takes a more in-depth have a look at essentially the most promising young skills within the nation. Having revealed the ten potential stars who’ve discovered a spot on this 12 months’s checklist, it is time for an in depth have a look at these gamers who may play an enormous half within the nation’s future.
Next up is Indian Arrows’ young goalkeeper Lalbiakhlua Jongte, extra popularly often called ‘Biakha’ amongst his friends.
The 17-year-outdated who hails from Mizoram has attracted loads of consideration after placing in good shows below the bar within the I-League this season. He has made 9 appearances for Shanmugam Venkatesh’s aspect and helped them maintain two cleansheets, one among which got here in a morale-boosting 1-zero win over East Bengal.
“As a goalkeeper, my challenge is to keep cleansheets against big teams and players. Physically they are strong (in the I-League), so keeping a cleansheet against them was very important and I always strived for that,” Jongte advised Goal.
A self-confessed fan of Germany and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Jongte has caught the attention for his wonderful reflexes below the bar. He does attempt to come off his line when required. However, there’s room for enchancment with regards to coping with crosses however that can include expertise.
Jongte is a type of gamers who had subsequent to zero formal coaching in his childhood earlier than the All India Football Federation (AIFF) noticed his pure expertise and took him in to assist polish his potential.
“I loved playing football since my childhood. As a small child, football used to be one of those things that gave me a lot of joy. I used to play regularly in the ground near my house. But I never thought I will play for India (be it a youth team) once. Football is much more than a game for me,” Jongte mentioned.
But Jongte’s fortunes circled when the AIFF’s U19 group got here to play the Independence Cup in Aizawl in 2016.
“I did not go to any proper academy or anything. My first academy was when I joined the U14 set up with the All India Football Federation in Goa. When the India U19 side came for the Independence Cup in Aizawl, the U14 coach was with them. He saw me and I was selected from there,” defined Jongte.
The goalkeeping coach, Felix D’Souza, performed an enormous function in moulding him and so did his present set coaches on the Indian Arrows.
“I would say Felix D’Souza (was an inspiration) for me. He taught me a lot about goalkeeping and his experience helped me a lot. Then there was Bala sir (Balaji Narasimhan) who is with us at Arrows. He helped a lot with my game too.”
Jongte rapidly made a reputation for himself with the India age group groups. He helped the U15 aspect win the SAFF U15 Championship in 2017 earlier than being part of the India U16 aspect that reached the quarterfinals of the AFC U16 Championship in 2018. He then went on to assist the India U19 aspect win the SAFF U19 Championship final 12 months.
He was additionally a part of the India U16 group which received a 4-nation event in Serbia the place they managed to defeat Tajikistan within the finals. In truth, Jongte was named the ‘Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament’ for his valiant efforts.
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“It was a great experience for me. We had to deal with a lot of different players with different styles of football. Also they had great facilities. That tournament and experience helped me improve my game and gave me confidence,” he mentioned.
After heroics of the ilk, it was no shock to see Jongte rapidly set up himself at Arrows final season in what was his first marketing campaign in senior soccer. The teenager is staying grounded regardless of seeing his inventory rise. He needs to work arduous and guarantee he catches as much as the degrees of a number of the greatest young goalkeepers within the nation like Prabsukhan Gill or Mohammed Nawaz.
“I don’t want to think too much about the future. I want to keep improving my game. That is my plan. They (Gill, Nawaz) are all my seniors and they are all great goalkeepers. It is a challenge for me to get to their levels and let’s see where I reach in the future,” he added.