Annaroy Soibam

Imphal footballer Annaroy Soibam, who captained the Unique Model Academy, Imphal to the title in the Sub-Junior (U-14) Boys category at the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) National Championships for 2019-20, has earned a call-up to join the youth squad of ISL club Odisha FC.

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Soibam, who won the Golden Boot at the championships for scoring 11 goals in five matches, and the Golden Ball for being the best player in the tournament, impressed scouts from the ISL club who were at hand in Mumbai during the tournament to identify upcoming talent.

Sandeep Alhan, head coach of Odisha FC U-18 team, who will now have Soibam directly under his supervision described the RFYS tournament as a “very good and competitive” platform that provides an opportunity for players such as Soibam to be scouted by professional clubs. “He has a good attacking sense,” Alhan said, describing Soibam’s attributes as a footballer.

“We can use him in all attacking positions, as a winger on either side or as a forward. He has good shooting qualities and is a good finisher,” he added.

Expressing his excitement on joining the club, Soibam said: “I am very excited to be a part of Odisha FC. It is a great opportunity for me at this stage of my career and I will try to do my best for the team.”

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“I was very happy to participate in a competition as professional as RFYS. It gave young players like me a chance to showcase my talent and play against the very best players from across the county. My School, Unique Academy School, was crowned winners in the Sub Jr. Category and in the process I ended up winning the Golden Boot and Golden Ball award. It gave me great pride and joy to be crowned the best player of the tournament,” the young footballer added.

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