Riding a wave of confidence

 Football is a game driven primarily by passion. And to make a living out of it in India, it takes a lot of determination and will. Riding on those qualities is Jackichand Singh.

Named the ‘Best Player’ of the I-League in the just-concluded season, Jackichand, just like his team Royal Wahingdoh, took everyone by surprise with his performance that helped his side finish third in their debut year.

“The season was fantastic. I enjoyed all the matches,” said Jackichand who ended with five goals and 10 assists in the league.

“If you look at our team, we have guys who have played together for the past 5-7 years or so. So, though we had a new coach (Santosh Kashyap), no time was wasted in getting into a new system as the players knew each other very well,” said Jackochand.

Jackichand was quick to assert the important role his team-mates played in shaping up a successful season. “Football is a not an individual game. We all had to stand up to the task, and that’s what we did. While feeling very happy that I got the Best Players’ award, I have suddenly got that confidence to do better next season,” he added.

Though he is now the cynosure of many who follow the Indian football, Jackichand’s journey to the top was not an easy one. Struggling to make ends meet, the midfielder had to dribble past many obstacles to live his dream. “I come from a poor background in Manipur. Since my childhood, we have had a lot of financial difficulties. My mom runs a hotel. And then it was my earnings from the league that helped us move on,” he said.

“But, now with my performance and people making a note of my skill, I hope the situation will change soon. We have bought the land in my village in Manipur and started constructing a house. I hope I will end up with an ISL (Indian Super League) contract that will help me to finish my dream project,” said the 23-year-old.

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