Hyderabad FC’s vision to push youngsters is an asset for Indian football, asserts Chinglensana Singh

Chinglensana Singh’s long hours of waiting at the shelter were finally over, her move from FC Goa to Hyderabad FC proving to be a career-changing footballer. The Manipuri were not only one of the best defenders in ISL 2020-21, but they also earned a cap for India because of their good form.

Like many players on the Tour, Chinglensana Singh has also shifted the basis from the traditional I-League to the cash-rich. Indian Super League along the way, in anticipation of an elevation. However, as the saying goes “ the grass is always greener on the other side ”, the change of course has not been easy for the footballers, with Singh also struggling to find his place in the start. the top of the range. However, this was not the case when it was Shillong Lajong FC days, where he had cemented a place in the game XI.

The Italian legend trusted the product Tata Football Academy Gianluca Zambrotta, under which he played 12 games for the former Delhi Dynamos FC in ISL 2016, exercising his profession in his privileged central-back position. But, he lost that string of appearances when he was kicked out to a FC Goa unit, a team that already had more than enough firepower in each department. The negligible expense to procure the Indian’s services saw him become a backup option for FC Goa, a team that had expensive prime caps, who were mostly foreigners.

Fitting into the pattern of things the ‘Gaur’ wanted him to be, ‘Sana’ as he is popularly known as, played a total of 19 games in three seasons, which took a huge blow to his playing time and his confidence. Other than a Super Cup victory, there was virtually nothing to brag about for Manipuri during the stint. But, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, with Hyderabad FC coming to the rescue, having signed the footballer ahead of the 2020-21 season. This is where everything changed !!

While Chinglensana didn’t make a flashy start from the get-go, he wasn’t uncomfortable either. As the season wore on, the defender unleashed the beast that had been dormant for a long time and produced more than his fair share of solid performances at the back. For example, he finished with the most successful passes for an Indian defender, with an impressive 85.4% accuracy.

The former Indian Under-19 star has been instrumental in making Hyderabad FC one of the best defending teams, conceding just 19 goals in 20 appearances. Not only that, in the 18 games he’s been in, the center-back has made 76 clearances, 26 tackles and 26 interceptions, showing his influence down the side.

“I have to say it was probably the best season of my career. I believed in the project and am happy to have signed for Hyderabad FC. The club’s vision of pushing young people and giving them a platform to prove themselves is a real asset to Indian football. I appreciate my time here and I’m happy with the season we’ve had, ”said Chinglensana Singh, in an interview with SportsCafe.

Sana’s heroism was visible as the “Nizams” were within reach of the play-offs. Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez, himself responsible for the skills development of the Indian footballer, also took note of the huge progress.

Manuel Marquez named Hyderabad FC head coach ahead of ISL 2020-2021 © HFC Media

There was a time when the Spanish manager was on the verge of sacking Chinglensana from the game XI, after a string of poor results. But, the turnaround by stopping him over the next few matches not only made Manolo stick with him, but also delayed the entry of the very experienced Adil Khan on the scene.

“There’s almost nothing bad to say about Manuel. He’s been fantastic with all the players on the squad or a senior. He wanted us to develop and improve as a player with every training session. His attention to detail has certainly helped every player remove mistakes from his game. Continuing to improve as a team and staying humble were really important things for him and I look forward to another season, training. with him, ”said the footballer.

While most ISL teams prefer to have two foreigners in charge of central defense, Hyderabad FC have the luxury of fielding an additional foreign player up front, with Chinglensana filling in with extraordinary efficiency in the post concerned. However, his deputy was former Secundra Division B player Odei Onaindia, an old trickster of the game who demanded the support of his Indian counterpart. And, Sana delivered the goods with the rookie imbibing some qualities of the veteran as well.

“Odei is a fantastic player and a very good leader. He’s a great partner to have on the pitch and to play alongside him and I’ve had the chance to learn a lot from him. We had a good relationship, and it was a great learning experience for me, ”added the footballer.

Despite a fifth place finish it was a successful season for Hyderabad FC as they hit all the right marks, their strategies worked, their recruitments paid off and their manager developed a football brand, which can be carried over. next season. More importantly, a youth catalog including Chinglensana, Liston Colaco, Asish Rai and Akash Mishra made their breakthrough. Fittingly, six of them have been selected by Igor Stimac for India’s friendlies against Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Chinglensana Singh made her international debut against Oman in March, earlier this year © HFC Media

“Yes, it was disappointing at the end because we all thought we deserved to qualify (for the play-offs). But it’s football. Things are not always rosy and we have to get over it. From a few impressive results to six players called up to the national team, it has been a successful season in more than one way and the credit goes to the management, the coaching staff and everyone who was part of the club. It was a learning curve for our young team and we will come back stronger, ”admitted the footballer.

However, Chinglensana’s biggest personal achievement remains his debut for the Indian national team in their 1-1 draw with Oman at the end of March. It’s a feeling that cannot be traded for anything and the footballer cherished every piece of it. However, the experience has taught Sana the competitiveness that exists at the highest level and how he must continue to hone his skills to remain unbeatable in Igor Stimac’s setup.

“There is no better feeling than wearing your national team jersey and representing your country at the highest level. The hard work you put in training, at the gym, the diets you follow are worth it when you can finally play for your country. It’s a dream come true for me, but it’s just the start and I know I have to work hard to keep my place there, ”added Sana.

Chinglensana, for now, is fully focused on the season ahead, believing the Hyderabad FC side have what it takes to make the top four. According to the latest reports, the new Indian Super League season could start in September, later this year.

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