The Churchill Brothers starlet speaks exclusively to Khel Now about football, life in Goa, his plans for the future and much more…
Churchill Brothers returned to the I-League after a brief hiatus and the journey for the only team from Goa has been a rollercoaster ride so far this season. The Red Machines started off slowly with just one win in their first 10 games. However, the appointment of the experienced Derrick Prereira as the new head coach has seen an upturn in form for the club, with them having beaten Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in recent weeks.
Irrespective of their mixed form one star that has shone brightly for the Goans this season is youngster Chesterpaul Lyngdoh The impressive winger who shot to prominence with his performances this campaign recently sat down with Khel Now’s Kushankur Rony Rakshit in a candid chat about his journey in football, life in Goa and much more. Excerpts:
Q: The name of Chesterpaul Lyngdoh has already shone in the I-League. How do you rate your season so far?
A- First of all I would like to thank God for this wonderful opportunity. I can’t describe in words how wonderful I feel to be playing for Churchill Brothers in the top flight. It has been a life-changing season and the team is also going in the right direction. So, I’m really happy.
Q1: Tell us about how you were introduced to football and when you chose to take it up as a career?
A- I was inspired to play football by my uncle who was the first player to play in the Shillong Premier League from our village.
I’ve grown up as a single-parent child and we had a huge family with just my mother to look after all of us. So, it was a tough decision to choose to make a career in football but I chose to follow my heart.
Q2: What inspired you to join Churchill Brothers?
A-Churchill Brothers are one of the top clubs in India and only their name is enough to attract any player. Their achievements and all the great players who have played for the club in the past made it a natural choice to join them.
Q3: Tell us about your experience working with Derrick Pereira? He has taken your game to the next level.
A- The coach is a very cool and composed person. He really is one of the best coaches I’ve played under in my entire playing career. He motivates us in every way and makes each and every one a better player. He is a very nice person and an even better manager when he is on the training ground.
Q4: Churchill are renowned for backing youngsters like yourself. Thoughts about the owners?
Lyngdoh is focussed on doing well for Churchill Brothers.
A- It is true that the owners of Churchill Brothers have always been the backbone of the team as well as youngsters like us. They motivate and inspire us in so many different ways. They are always there to help me as well as the other players in the team.
Q5: The team didn’t have a good start to the season. How did you cope through the tough phase?
A- It’s true that we did not have a good first half of the campaign. But, we work hard before every match and have done so in training throughout the season. The new coach has brought a good energy to the team and now we are pulling in the right direction.
Q6: You belong to the Northeast but have played your football in Pune and Goa. Has it been difficult being away from home?
A- At first it was difficult but gradually I adjusted to the food, the weather as well as the people. I have been fortunate to play in two really nice parts of the country.
Pune is a really great city and it was nice to play there. Now, I’m happy to be here in Goa. The food, the people, everything is very nice.
Q7: Who is your favourite player in the world? And which Indian player would you like to play with?
A-My favourite player is Alexis Sanchez whom I really idolize and I dream of playing alongside Eugeneson lyngdoh.
Q8: What’s your next target?
A- My next target is to play in the Indian Super League and the national team.
Q9: You are believed to be on the radar of the two Kolkata giants and a few ISL franchises. So, what will be your next move?
A- As for now, I’m only thinking of the present moment with Churchill Brothers. I will decide when the time comes. I just need to work harder and do my best.
Interview by Khel Now Coreespondent Kushankur Rony Rakshit