Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: FC Goa recently signed Redeem Tlang on a pre-contract from NorthEast United FC, making the winger the club's first signing of the season. In communication with The Sentinel Redeem speaks about growing up in Shillong, his idols and what it means to finally be a Gaur. Here is the excerpt
Q. How does it feel to be a Gaur?
Redeem:I just want to thank FC Goa management for giving me the chance to be a part of the team. It is a pleasure for me to be a part of FC Goa and I'm glad to be part of the Gaurs. Playing in front of the passionate football fans in Goa and alongside some of the best players in the country will be an amazing experience. I can't wait to get started.
Q. How would you describe your time in NorthEast United FC?
Redeem: I would describe it as a time when I kept improving as a player off and on the pitch. The two years there helped me learn a lot. It was a good moment for me and I'm happy with what I have done.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
Redeem: My greatest strength is that I work hard and will never give up. I want to work, work and work. Even when something isn't going my way I just keep on going.
Q. When did you realise that you wanted to be a footballer?
Redeem: I went to watch my first I-League match between Shillong Lajong and Air India as a kid and I saw the stadium fully packed. I was with my parents and from that moment I thought this is so good, I want to be just like them. Football is the only thing I loved to do. I would fall asleep while studying but wake up without an alarm for football.
Q. Which players have you looked up to and tried to emulate growing up?
Redeem: As I grew up, it was Ronaldo Nazario of Brazil. I saw the 2002 FIFA World Cup final and he made me fall in love with the game. I often look up to Ricardo Kaka as well. Cristiano Ronaldo is another player I've looked up to.
Q. Any specific moments that has stood out for you so far in your career?
Redeem: I remember scoring my first I-League goal for Shillong Lajong. That was a great moment for me. Another one that stands out is scoring for NorthEast United in the semi-finals in 2019. Scoring at a crucial moment, especially when it is your first goal of the season is very special and it is my favourite goal till date.
Q. What message do you have for the FC Goa fans?
Redeem: I'm looking forward to meeting the fans and getting on to the pitch. The way the fans support the team is great. They are the 12th man for us and I want to meet them personally. Let's hope this is our year and we can go another level further and win silverware in the coming season.