Bengaluru FC’s Sridarth Nongmeikapam earns trial with Slovenian club ND Ilirija 1911

Bengaluru FC Academy striker Sridarth Nongmeikapam will train with Slovenian club ND Ilirija 1911 over a ten-day period and will have a trial as well.

During his ten-day stay in Ljubljana, Sridarth Nongmeikapam will be training with Ilirija’s U-15 side which plays in the country’s top division in their youth structure.   -  Special Arrangement

Bengaluru FC Academy striker Sridarth Nongmeikapam has earned himself a training and trial with Slovenian club ND Ilirija 1911. Ilirija is the oldest football club in the country and serves as a feeder club to NK Olimpija Ljubljana, one of the nation’s most successful teams.

During his ten-day stay in Ljubljana, the 14-year-old will be training with Ilirija’s U-15 side which plays in the country’s top division in their youth structure. He will also have additional training sessions with the club’s coaching staff.

Sridarth, who was part of the AIFF Elite Academy setup, has been one of the key members of the Indian squad that reached the final round of the AFC U16 Championships 2020. The Manipuri youngster scored five goals as the Blue Tigers finished atop their qualifying group in Uzbekistan. He also scored a hat-trick in the final as India emerged champion in the U15 SAFF Championship in Kalyani, West Bengal earlier this season.

“I started off on the wing in my early years but eventually settled in as a central striker while in the AIFF set up in Goa. Coach Bibiano Fernandes has been a great guiding figure in my career so far and I have learned a lot of things from him in the last two years,” said Sridarth.

He credited his father with giving him the push to pursue the sport: “My father was a professional footballer and played for some big clubs in India including the likes of Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers, and Dempo SC. I don’t remember how and when I started playing but it has always been football for me. He is the one who taught me how to play and has always been an inspiration.”

Sridarth will be part of the Bengaluru FC B and U18 sides which will take part in the Youth League, 2nd Division League, and the BDFA competitions this season.

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