Injury-hit Jeje walks the extra mile

Injury-hit Jeje walks the extra mile

Having been sidelined for most part of the last season with injuries, Indian striker Jeje Lalpekhlua is going that extra mile to regain fitness and hit top form ahead of the busy season.

Jeje played only 12 I-league matches for Pune Football Club last season and has been out of competition for almost three months now with an injury to his left knee.
“I am not yet hundred percent fit and I need a couple of weeks workout to regain full fitness,” said Jeje, who is among the 32 players in the national under-22 probables camp at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

The 21-year-old Jeje, who has been a regular in the Indian senior squad, said that he is eager get back into action. “I want to play as soon as possible. I know that coming here and training would help me to attain full fitness,” revealed Jeje.

Though Jeje has received several offers from I-League clubs, the Manipuri said he will stay with the Pune FC who finished fifth in the I-League. “I am very happy at Pune FC, so I will stay with them,” he replied with a smile before strolling towards the fitness trainer for another set of workout.

The under-22 probables camp had started in New Delhi at the start of the year with 77 players and later, the list was pruned to 44. After the camp here, which began on May 15 and will go on till May 31, the list will be further cut to 30.

India have recently roped in Arthur Papas as the head coach of the AIFF’s regional academy in Navi Mumbai and the Australian, who will join the camp in Delhi next month, will also oversee the under-22 team.

The 30 players will travel to Dubai where a 23-member team will be announced after a couple of practice matches with the Al Wasl FC. The team will then fly to Muscat for the qualifying tournament for the 2013 AFC Under-22 Championship. India, who are drawn in Group A, will take on hosts Oman, UAE, Iraq, Turkmenistan and Lebanon in the June 23-July 3 qualifiers.