Lyngdoh, college drop out to best Indian footballer

A college drop out and a late bloomer, Eugeneson Lyngdoh is busy making up for the lost time. As someone who seriously took football when in third year of engineering course at Pune, Eugeneson doesn’t regret his decision to play the game professionally.

AIFF player of the year Eugenson Lyngdoh in action for his club Bengaluru FC.   -  K. Murali Kumar

A college drop out and a late bloomer, Eugeneson Lyngdoh is busy making up for the lost time. As someone who seriously took football when in third year of engineering course at Pune, Eugeneson doesn’t regret his decision to play the game professionally.

Voted as AIFF player of the year 2015, the 29-year-old Eugeneson is a player any coach would want to have in his team. His creativity and goal scoring skills have often been beneficial for his clubs Bengaluru FC and Pune City FC and his coaches would vouch for that.

Pune City FC paid a princely sum of 1.05 crores to procure his services for ISL. Though Pune FC failed to qualify for the semifinals, Eugeneson had his great moments in the league. The player credits Pune coach David Platt and Bengaluru coach Ashley Westwood for making him a better player. “I am what I am because of BFC and Westwood. He (Platt) is a coach who has given me lot of confidence. It is not just what he does on the field but what he tells the players which help them develop. He is that kind of coach who has helped me built up my confidence. I also learnt a lot sharing dressing room with players like Zokora and Sanli in ISL,” said Eugeneson.

The AIFF award was culmination of a fine productive season for the lad from Shillong who made his international debut against Nepal in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers early this year.

Eugeneson made no bones of the fact that it was a dream cum true for him to wear the national colours. “Every boy in the country would have dreamt of playing for the national team. For me getting my first cap versus Nepal was good. I wished it could have happened earlier. But I was busy with my studies which I couldn’t complete. But I have no regrets,” said the player who surprisingly is a great fan of fellow Indian players Climax Lawrence, Rocus Lamare and Renedy Singh.

Despite being acclaimed as one of the best midfielders in India, Eugeneson ruled out any move to try his luck in foreign league. “Someone like Gurpreet is at a good age to be abroad. I am quite old. So going abroad is not very ideal at this age. But I think if I were a little younger, I would have wanted to go abroad. But of now I don’t see it happening. I am very happy at a club like BFC,” he said.

The midfielder is obviously thrilled to be part of the Indian team for the SAFF Suzuki Cup and he want to sign off the season on a high note. “I think it is the first tournament I will be playing for the country apart from the World Cup qualifiers. So I am looking forward to it. I want to do my best and win it for the country,’’ he said.