How often do we talk about Indian players like Rohit Danu, Niraj Kumar, Vikram Pratap Singh from the batch of U16 AFC Championshap 2018, and about Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Komal Thatal, Jeakson Singh, Amarjit Kityam, from the batch for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, whenever we discuss about our U16 or U17 National Teams? Quite often right? But, what about the batch before that? The batch of the U16 AFC Championship 2014?
The team in focus is the U-16 team just before the set which gave us our first ever goal in any FIFA tournament. Goes without saying that there wasn’t so much limelight on that 2014 Squad, like the 2016 and 2018 batch due to various reasons.
Well, before 2014 it was often difficult for Indian Football fans to find a telecast of their senior National Team playing at that time. Hence, you can quite easily assess the amount of limelight the juniors got at that time. But anyway, there’s a good part too.
The good part is that they were U16 in 2014, which means they are between 20-22 years age at the moment in 2020, which is not too late an age to get all the limelight on, also given that many of them are already a part of our ISL and I-League teams.
Let us get on to few of the names who are in the Indian footballing circuit at the moment and can be, or already are, a great addition to the National Team.
Am sure you would be surprised with some of the names, but here they are for you to see-
- Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem – Goal Keeper
- Anirudh Thapa – Midfielder
- Edmund Lalrindika – Forward
- Baoringdao Bodo – Forward/Winger
- Laishram Bedashwor Singh – Winger
- Moirangthem Jayananda Singh – Defender
- Jerry Lalrinzuala – Defender
- Deependra Singh Negi – Midfielder
- Amey Ranawade – Defender
- Thoungjam Kishan Singh – Defender
- Amit Tudu – Defender
- Krishna Pandit – Striker
There were more players in the team as well, but for now let’s focus on few of the shining youngsters, some of whom are lot and the rest are well into the footballing circuit of India, in the 2 top Leagues of the Country.
1. Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem : This is a name which doesn’t require an introduction at the moment, in Indian Football. Not much to say about this guy, as he’s one of the rising stars of the Nation at the moment.
Playing the previous season for ISL side ATK, Dheeraj can be called one of the best young keepers in the country right now. But the highlight of mentioning him here is that we all know Dheeraj from his U17 World Cup journey, where he was a standout perform for the team. But, very few know that this young talent was also a part of the Indian U16 team way back in 2013 too.
Well that’s a surprise, because he was under-17 in 2017, which means he was much younger compared to his other team mates in the 2013 U-16 batch, which simply shows the potential this young Manipuri Goalkeeper has got, and lets hope he gets more game time and proves everyone his worth, with some scintillating performances in the upcoming seasons, in the Hero ISL.
2. Anirudh Thapa & Jerry Lalrinzuala: Two big names in this list, you surely don’t need us to tell you who they are. Anirudh Thapa in the last few years has been one of the best midfielders for the Indian National Team. Not only is his passing, control, blocking, composure, maturity and intelligence commendable, but he has also been on the scoresheets often. From scoring in the Asian Cup, to his knockout stage screamer in the ISL this season, Thapa has shown everyone why he’s called the best at this young age.
On the other hand the young left back from Mizoram has been a surprise package since the time he joined ISL. Not only did he keep performing day in day out, but also bagged the ISL Emerging player of the Season Award in 2016. Pleasantly surprising, these two young Chennaiyin FC Lads were also a part of that U169 Squad back in 2013.
3. Edmund Lalrindika:
Third on the list is Bengaluru FC’s forward Edmund Lalrindika. Edmund has been one of the shining youngsters in recent times but is yet to show up with his best, hopefully very soon. He is said to be one of the most promising young forwards right now. Being with Indian Arrows and Bengaluru FC’s B side, Edmund has gained a lot of experience in the last few years and is hopefully all set to take on the big stage for Bengaluru FC, in the ISL.
By now you know, that he was also a part of the same U16 Team with Anirudh Thapa, and Jerry. Recently Edmund came back from a short loan stint at East Bengal where he already won the hearts of their huge fanbase. He’s currently back with BFC and we will hopefully see him playing the ISL in the upcoming season.
4. Baoringdao Bodo:
Born on 17th October 1999, this young Winger is another promising name which comes up when we talk about that U16 batch. Well we’ve heard the name Neymar with Komal Thatal may be, but what’s before that? Yes, you got it right. Baoringdao Bodo was often compared to Neymar with his style of play, speed, and tricks and has also been called the Indian Neymar at times. This youngster has previously played for ISL Champions like Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru, and played his last season in the ‘B’ team of Kerala Blasters FC. He also had a stint with Bengaluru United. He is all set to join the Indian Super League again this season in Odisha FC’s jersey.