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Indian Football: Young Prospects to be kept an eye on, in 2023- Part 1.

Updated: Aug 7, 2023


In the current season, many young Indian players have caught the attention of fans and sports journalists. They are the center of discussion in social media and football news. Let's take a look at the list:-


Hormipiam Ruivah:



Hailing from Manipur, Hormipiam has been playing Indian Super League (Indian Top Division) since last season only. He is just 21 years old and plays in the Centre-Back position for Kerala Blasters FC. He had only started showing bright signs at the Kerala defense line from last season. This season he has been showing more maturity already and has been consistent in Ivan Vukomanovic's starting XI. If Hormipiam remains consistent he might get a national team call-up.


Gurkeerat Singh:-



He plays in the Centre Forward position. He has already impressed India's U-20 side and is currently 19 years old. He scored 8 goals in SAFF U-20 Championship and 3 goals in 3 matches in AFC U-20 Qualifiers against mighty Asian sides such as Australia, Iraq. He currently has signed for Mumbai City FC and has made a few appearances off the bench as a substitute in the second half.


Ayush Chettri:- 19-year-old CDM. Already a regular starter for ISL side FC GOA. He was born in Aizwal. His composure while tackling, progressive pass accuracy, ability to provide long diagonals has been commendable. The most fascinating thing is at just 19 years of age how composed this lad remains in the pitch. There is definitely room for much improvement in his game such as reading the situation more quickly and providing more quicker forward passes. With practice and pore match experience he definitely will improve.


Lalchungnunga:-



This young CB has been on the radar of Sports Media very much recently. This 22-year-old CB has signed for East Bengal FC this season from 2nd division side Shreenidhi Deccan. He has an impressive stat of 47 clearances, 18 Blocks, 11 Interceptions, and 34 Tackles in 11 of his ISL games. Given his consistent performance in Stephen Constantine's side, he has earned himself a contract extension until 2025.


Nihal Sudeesh:



Kerala Blaster has made a reputation of developing, nurturing, and grooming young players under their club structure and Nihal is one such academy product of Kerala Blaster FC. The 21-year-old forward has made only 2 appearances for his side in ISL at the end of 2022 and first match of 2023 as a substitute. Within those few minutes, he received this now he quite impressed the Manjappada fans. He showed how explosive he can be on the right side and contribute both in defense and attack. Under coach Ivan surely he will grow as a good player in the coming days and with more match experience which in the case of Kerala we can be optimistic.


NOTE!! :- There are other talented young players like Apuia Ralte, Anwar Ali, etc who surely are worth mentioning and are already playing key roles for Indian National Team. But as they are already popular among Indian Football Community I decided to include those players who are yet to be known widely and are catching eyes this season.



Ending Note: We are watching the emergence of players who are technically better than what we are accustomed to seeing in Indian Football previously, despite a short league and poor football infrastructures and cultures all over the country. After the AIFF regime change the supporters of the Indian football community are hoping things will change within the country. There will be longer league formats, revival and proper marketing of Club competitions and focus on Grassroot and Youth development all over the country. Each player will receive more game time and the no of tiers of the National League will increase to accommodate more players. In the case of youth players Indian Football structure faces the issue of providing them with more game time and match experience, this can be solved by bringing more league tiers. The young players will become better with more game time per season. I hope to see things change as these young prospects become more matured players and don't end up as lost talents.

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