FC Goa’s Haokip shortlisted for award

FC Goa striker Thongkhosiem Haokip has been nominated by the Football Players’ Association of India (FPAI) for the "Best Young Player of the Season" award, the result of which will be announced on Sunday’s awards night.

Thongkhosiem Haokip scored seven goals for Pune FC in the 2014-15 season of the I-League, making him the highest Indian goal-scorer. The haul included a memorable hat-trick against Shillong Lajong FC.

FC Goa striker Thongkhosiem Haokip has been nominated by the Football Players’ Association of India (FPAI) for the “Best Young Player of the Season” award, the result of which will be announced on Sunday’s awards night.

Haokip needs to fend off Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Jayesh Rane and Udanta Singh to receive the gong, which he feels will motivate him to work harder.

“I’m very happy and honoured that I am nominated. I feel lucky and blessed and this motivates me to work harder,” said the shy Manipuri lad.

The 22-year-old scored seven goals for Pune FC in the 2014-15 season of the I-League, making him the highest Indian goal-scorer. The haul included a memorable hat-trick against Shillong Lajong FC.

“I will try my best and keep going on. I also want to thank my [Pune FC] teammates and coaches who motivated me from the time I was in the academy right through to my entry into the senior team,” he added.

Sharing his thoughts on the pre-season tour in Dubai with ISL outfit FC Goa, Haokip said, “It was a good opportunity for me to learn from Zico as well as the coaching staff and players. I learnt a lot from the international players like Lucio and some Indian players as well.”

Being drafted by FC Goa to play in this year’s ISL, Haokip sees the opportunity as the next step in his career.

“I will be under scrutiny and it will help me get noticed if I do well in such a big league. For me, it’s a great opportunity to be in FC Goa so I will always do my best to help my team,” Haokip concluded.