The trio has shown promising glimpses of their talent at the youth levels and are raring to impress in the top tier.
ATK Mohun Bagan have promoted three of their U-18 team graduates – forward Md. Fardin Ali, midfielder Ningobam Engson Singh and goalkeeper Aryan Lamba to the senior team for the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
The club have always given opportunities to their reserve players, starting from Ashis Pradhan in the 2018-19 season to Sumit Rathi and Anil Chawan in 2019-20. The ritual has been the same for years.
Fardin, who turned 18 in April, played a formidable role in ATK’s campaign in the Elite League last season as the team ended the tournament as group toppers with just a single defeat. He started his youth career with Mohun Bagan, playing for their U-13 team before joining ATK. Having netted six goals out of 11 appearances, Fardin was one of the top goalscorers in the team. Naturally a poacher, Fardin likes to make late runs into the box and is quite acclaimed for his shooting boots.
Meanwhile, Ningobam Engson Singh is arguably one of the best players ATK Reserves have ever produced. The promising midfielder hailing from Manipur started his youth career at the club and rose through the ranks from the U-13s to the senior team. He is considered as one of the most promising utility players in the squad, as the club’s think-tank and support staff rate him high for his fitness and appropriate body stature, which comes with a perfect blend of discipline and talent on the pitch. The 18-year-old has good ball control along with sheer pace, allowing him to play both as a central midfielder as well as a winger.
On the other hand, ATK promoted U-18 goalkeeper Sk Arsh last season and now yet another U-18 goalkeeper, Aryan Lamba, has bagged a spot in the senior team. The 18-year-old has played in the Calcutta Football League and 2nd Division League apart from the Elite League and has also been part of the U-19 national team.
With a process of promoting couple of players every season, ATK Mohun Bagan have been able to establish a well-channelized grassroots system in the last six years. With a lot of players from their first-ever batch getting to prove their trades in different I-League and ISL teams, it seems the club have been able to bring a well-planned youth development program back to work in the West Bengal footballing ecosystem.