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'It was hard to believe': said Lalruatthara on his call up to the Indian National team

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Laldanmawia Ralte and Lalruatthara speak about their experience in the camp after the first National team call-up. . .

Even as the National Team prepares for the forthcoming AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against the Kyrgyz Republic slated to be held in Bengaluru, the two newcomers summoned by National Coach Stephen Constantine, Lalruatthara and Laldanmawia Ralte are not much willing to speculate whether they would be able to secure a berth in the final 23.

“That is the decision of the Coach. Our job is to perform to our best,” both echo in a chorus.

“We were playing in the Federation Cup when my Club mate Albino (Gomes) informed both of us that we have been summoned to the National Camp,” informs Mawia.

“It took some time to sink in. It was hard to believe,” Lalruatthara adds. “India is such a vast Country. There are so many players playing and we were one of them who had been asked to report to the Camp. It was a unique feeling – a moment of pride,” he goes on.

What next? “Both of us gathered together and told each other that ‘let this be just the start.’ We understood that we couldn’t just bask in glory about the call-up. Rather, we have to report to the Camp with a mission.”

Both Lalruatthara and Mawia stay in Champari, a small district around 7 hours from Aizawl. “It is very close to the Myanmar border,” Mawia utters.

How is the National Camp different?

“The training here is much tougher, all at a very high intensity. It is just much organised and we need to adhere to the shape all time. It’s hard but we are enjoying it,” Lalruatthara, the U-22 player quips.

“We have been made to understand that you need to help each other on the field. If one member on the field fails, the entire team fails.” Mawia nods. “The Coach stresses on minute details on the field.”

Lalruatthara adds: “As a player, we have improved a lot in these few days. When you look back you understand the sort of fine-tuning which we have been lucky to gather in the Camp. Moreover, the off-field discipline, the dietary regime, the timings are all an eye-opener. I had no idea that the Camp deals with all details in such detail.”

“For example, my positional sense has improved a lot. I will go back as a much better player.”

Published: Fri May 26, 2017 01:14 PM IST

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