Shillong, July 8: Shillong Lajong FC has signed 20 under-19 boys for a four-year professional contract as part of its youth development programme, and with an aim to build a bank for the future.
The 20 players include 15 boys who graduated from the Lajong Academy and five newly signed players from the India under-19 squad.
The India under-19 internationals include Alen Deory (midfielder from Assam), Vishal Kaith (goalkeeper from Himachal Pradesh), Issac Vanmalsawma (midfielder from Mizoram), Joseph Lalfakzuala (midfielder from Mizoram) and Pritam Kumar Singh (defender from Manipur).
“These signings were part of a long-term vision plan by Lajong called ‘Goal 14’, which commenced in 2010 to nurture young players so that they could represent the club and country at the highest level,” a Shillong Lajong official said.
Out of the 15 “Goal 14” boys, Rupert Nongrum, Shaiborlang Kharpan, Zodingliana, Jacob and Nim Dorjee have been regulars in the Indian Under-19 squad, thereby, taking the tally of Lajong players to have represented India U-19 team to 10, the official added.
On these signings, Shillong Lajong FC managing director Larsing Ming Sawyan said, “We are delighted to have these five national players in our club as we aim to strengthen our youth system and produce future football stars for the country.”