By our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 4: The former intertiol footballer from Manipur Renedy Singh was in the city to take part in the closing function of the T Ao Centery U-21 NEC Gold Cup Soccer that concluded recently. In a conversation with The Sentinel, the former mid-fielder who played for East Bengal and Mohun Bagan as many as 119 matches, laid bare his views on football in the Northeast and other subjects as well. Here is the excerpt.
Sentinel: Will you kindly let us know your association with the game after retirement from professiol football?
Singh: Football is my passion, and I can’t live without it. Right now I’m associated with NEROCA FC. Very soon I’m going to start coaching schools in Manipur and galand, besides working as an expert commentator in television.
Sentinel: In the recent past football in the NorthEast has made stride. Do you agree with this?
Singh: Yes, it’s true. Earlier we were only producing players for the top clubs of the country. However, now there are three clubs in the region participating in I League. You can notice another major change in football in the Northeast. During our day’s players from the Northeast earned good money only when they left the region and joined big clubs of the country. Now local players are also earning good money, staying at home. It’s indeed a positive development.
Sentinel: Isn’t it surprising that there is no club in I-League from Assam?
Singh: Yes, it really is. Assam is much ahead of other States in the region when it comes to sports facilities and infrastructures, yet there’s no team from the State in I League. I feel those associated with the game in the State should identify the reason behind and take corrective measure. However, it is nice to see some quality players like Holicharan rzary, Vinit Rai, Baoringdao Bodo… coming out from your State and doing very well in different I League and ISL clubs.
Sentinel: Holicharan is now a regular member of the Indian team. How do you see the kind of future awaiting him?
Singh: Holicharan is a good player and is very agile on the field. However, if he can improve his speed with the ball a little the forward would be a great threat for any defense line.
Sentinel: There is a complaint that Indian football is suffering for holding of ISL and I League simultaneously. Any comment?
Singh: It’s better to have one league at a time. However, from my experience I can say that running two leagues simultaneously this season has helped a lot to many a newbie. Earlier almost the same set of footballers played both ISL and I League and there were hardly any opportunities to junior players. But this time many new players were absorbed by different clubs of the country and it helped increasing the pool of players.