The RoundGlass Punjab FC youngster spoke about his ambitions for his new club and the targets for the upcoming 2020-21 season of the competition.

As RoundGlass Punjab FC get set for the upcoming Hero I-League season that kicks off on January 9, 2021, a key player for them promises to be 19-year-old centre-back Hormipam Ruivah, who was a key figure in defence for the Indian Arrows last season and also was part of the India side that lifted the SAFF U-18 Championship 2019 in Nepal in September last year.

Now set to make his debut for the side from Punjab, the young defender spoke about how he is ‘excited’ about the upcoming campaign and made clear his team’s intentions of going all the way and lifting the trophy.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this team. I am feeling great and pre-season training has been fantastic so far. I am learning a lot from our head coach Curtis Fleming. Our target is to win the Hero I-League trophy and we’ll give our best to lift it,” Hormipam Ruivah told in a candid chat.

The defender, whose idols include Blue Tigers stalwart Sandesh Jhingan, mentioned that it is his ‘dream’ to play for the Blue Tigers and spoke about how he is learning from his teammate veteran defender Anwar Ali (Sr.), who was part of the Indian side that played in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011.

“Anwar-paaji is so calm and confident on the pitch. He’s very friendly with me and keeps giving me a lot of valuable advice. He advises me to play without pressure, be calm and focus on playing my natural game. He is hugely experienced and I am learning so much from him and other seniors — both on and off the pitch,” he quipped.

Hormipam Ruivah, who hails from Somdal in Manipur, started 14 out 16 matches for the Arrows in the 2019-20 season, impressing with his tackling and anticipation, along with his passing and on-the-ball skills. He grew immensely under the tutelage of two more former senior national team icons — Venkatesh Shanmugam and Mahesh Gawali, and stated that his stint with the Arrows was ‘vital’ and made him a ‘better player’.

He averred, “I learned so many things from Venky-Sir (head coach Venkatesh) and Mahesh-Sir (assistant coach). I improved a lot technically as they helped me improve my passing and taught me to always stay on my feet while defending. I feel I grew a lot as a footballer last season and my time with the Indian Arrows was vital and made me a better player.”

RoundGlass Punjab FC began their pre-season training in Kolkata on November 9 under the requisite COVID-19 safety guidelines and 19-year-old Hormipam Ruivah mentioned that the team is taking all necessary precautions as they build-up to the start of the competition.

“Our accommodation facility is great and the training ground is also excellent. We understand that we have to adhere to all guidelines and take care of ourselves. Our physio and doctors are keeping us informed and taking care of all details. They are keeping us on our toes,” he concluded.

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