Aibanbha Dohling – “We want to make all the Indians proud at AFC Champions League”


Aibanbha Dohling, one of India’s brightest prospect, is quite a renowned name in the Indian football circuit after his heroics in the I League where he plied his trade for Shillong Lajong FC. The 24 year old centre back had his breakthrough campaign in the 2018-19 I League season where he even captained his side. His rise from the local leagues to rippling waves in the top tier of Indian football -Indian Super League- has been no less than a fairy tale journey. In his debut season for FC Goa, the team won its maiden ISL League Shield for topping the league table.

Quoting about the same, Aiban said, “Yeah, it has been a great journey so far. I’ve loved every bit of it. Shillong was a great beginning and I feel it has really helped me find feet here in Goa. Winning the shield was great but now we need to look to get the cup as well.”

Aiban Dohling, Shillong Lajong FC
Aiban Dohling captaining Shillong Lajong FC.

“I would have to say the moment Shillong Lajong made me the captain of the club. Wearing the armband really pushed me to become a leader and develop my game as a player,” he reckons as the most crucial juncture of his career till date. Indeed the additional responsibility got the best out of Aiban as he went on to grab the eyeballs of the Goan scouts and earned a promotion into the top flight league.

The 2019-20 season has been quite promising for FC Goa so far. Despite of major structural changes, as of now the team sits in the top four of the table, under the newly appointed coach Juan Ferrando. “Juan is a fantastic Coach. He has a great style of play and I’m just doing my best to learn and develop under him,” added Aiban who also got his first start for the Gaurs earlier this season. “It was great to finally get that start. I’ve been working hard and I’m happy to have been given the chance to play from the beginning. I’m going to keep doing my best and hopefully add a few more starts this season.”

Aiban Dohling, FC Goa vs Northeast United FC
Credits – FC Goa | Aiban Dohling in action against Northeast United FC.

FC Goa are currently placed in a more familiar 3rd position in the points table after hitting a rough patch in between. When asked about the current dressing room environment Aiban said, “We haven’t had the best start so far but the most important thing is how we end the season. We have been all the right things and sooner rather than later those things are sure to reap rewards. The team spirit is good. We’re keeping positive and motivated to get better performances in.”

The new season came in as a whole different package this time around but Aiban has his aims set high, “This season is just like any other season. I’m looking to help the team as much as I can. Put in good performances and get good results to go one more step ahead then we are in last season.”

FC Goa rewrote the history books by becoming the first Indian team to earn a direct qualification into the group stage of the AFC Championships League, the versatile defender opined about this historic feat, “It’s great to be the first team from India to participate in the AFC Champions League. We’ll be looking to do our best and hopefully, make Indians proud.”

“To all the FC Goa fans I’d like to say thanks for the support. We miss you in the stadium but your presence is always felt on social media with your positive messages,” were Aiban’s final words as a token of love for all the FC Goa fans.

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