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Playing for Mohun Bagan helped a lot, asserts Nongdamba Naorem

Published at :January 6, 2024 at 12:37 AM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 11:30 AM
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Atawaris Warsi


Naorem also talked about his dream of playing for the Blue Tigers.

In the midst of the Indian Super League’s month-long hiatus, prompted by the national team’s spirited participation in the AFC Asian Cup 2023, football enthusiasts across the nation find themselves yearning for the pulsating domestic league action.

However, the void is momentarily filled by Jamshedpur FC, who had orchestrated a delightful treat for their fervent supporters. 

In an exclusive interview, the spotlight shifts onto the dynamic winger, Nongdamba Naorem, offering an immersive dive into the multifaceted facets of his life.

Let’s take a look on the same:

Humble Beginnings

Hailing from Wabagai, Manipur, Naorem shares his early life and how he embarked on this football journey. He expressed, “Actually there was no plan that I would be a professional footballer since my childhood. There was no plan at all. But when I went to Sainik school in 2010 and after that I was playing for my school, inter-school and everything and then suddenly I came to realise that I have a talent that is playing football. No one told me, I just realised it myself.”

He also added, “So after my ten exam, board exam I told my parents directly that I want to try go for a professional football trial. So from 2014/15…… So after that I started my professional career after giving a trial in the DSK Shivajians.”

FIFA U-17 World Cup

Credits: Jamshedpur FC

Naorem, reflecting on his FIFA U-17 World Cup experience, fondly recalls the thrill and growth that marked this significant chapter in his football career, “I think that playing in the U-17 FIFA World Cup, I think it’s been really amazing. Even though we couldn’t win any match or we lost the match, the experience that we had, the exposure that we got, was amazing.”

He also shared some notable moments from the tournament. Naorem shared, “The notable thing that I have is the match against USA. I have like, kind of good also, kind of regret also. I could have scored in that match.”

Indian Arrows

When queried about the impact of Indian Arrows on his professional journey, the winger expressed gratitude, acknowledging the pivotal role it played, “I think it makes a massive role for the player to grow, as a career, as a player in that time.”

“So playing in the Senior league, debuting in the I-League and as a player it was such a great experience and to become more mature as a player and how the league works, how the mature teams act, and it was just a great experience. It plays a massive important role in my career”, he compounded.

Transitioning from I-League to ISL

Naorem focuses on the difference he feels transitioning from the I League to ISL. He delved deeper and said, “For me personally, when I first went from I League to ISL, so I think it is like, yes, of course, difference is there when I go to ISL, the competition, the quality of the players and then the stuff, I think it’s more than the I-League. I feel like that. So I think when I go from I League to ISL, I have to more work hard.”

The most important phase

The Jamshedpur FC winger also spoke about the highlight of his football career so far. He emphasised more on his days at Mohun Bagan. Naorem said, “ I think the most important thing, people think it’s my under-17 World cup, but I think for me personally, the most important career in my life, which helped me so much to go up, is when I was playing for Mohun Bagan.”

Preparation for Important Games

Naorem also revealed how he prepares for important matches. The winger answered, “I prepare about mentally for before a big game like I rather not think about the game because the game will be there. Yes, I’m focused. It’s not that I’m not focused, but I’d rather not think about it so much. Like maybe I read a book or watch a movie, just still do some stretching before the match and also, but not really think about it for that match so that I don’t have to take so much stress about it. So for me personally, I do that.”

Favourite Football Memory

The Manipur brought-up player spoke about his favourite football memory. He reminisced, “We used to make balls with the socks or the paper with the cello tape and play with the friends inside the room, inside the dormitory. So I think that’s been one of my great memories in school time.” 

He further explained, “Yes, we used to make it with socks or sometimes tennis ball or used to be like with the paper. We used to wrap it around with the paper. And then we will put the round shape with paper. And then we used to put the cellular tab and make like big bowl. And then we used to play with that.”

Football Dream

Naorem passionately revealed his aspiration, expressing a heartfelt dream of representing the national team in his football journey. He said, “My football dream will be playing for the national team doesn’t matter for anything. As my dad told me, whether you play in the club, in this, doesn’t matter how much you are this and that. Nothing matter. Once you can represent your country, that is the most proud moment for them also. For me also.”

Influential Person in Life

When asked who is his most influential person, he explained, “I think it’s been actually my dad only professionally, personally, everything. Not just for me, but for my whole family, my dad has been the most influential.”

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