Former champions Aizawl FC has signed as many as six local players to revive its fortunes in the Hero I-League after finishing just above the Indian Arrows, developmental side of All India Football Federation, in the last edition.
Head coach Stanley Rozario sounded optimistic about his fresh recruits as they will add “more depth and vigour” to the squad ahead of the upcoming season.
“We have followed these players closely for a long time before signing them. They will add more depth and vigour to our squad. Now, it’s up to us to get them into the system quickly and get going once the season kicks off,” Stanley said.
The Reds recruited three mid-fielders — David Laltlansanga, Vanlalnghenga and Thasiama — besides signing three defenders in Vanlalzuidika, K.Lalmalsawma and PC Laldinpuia to improve their defensive credibility.
Aizawl leaked 19 goals last season while scoring only 17, better than only Indian Arrows and Real Kashmir FC.
David Laltlansanga, the crafty mid-fielder who has moved to the Reds from cross-city rivals Chanmari FC recently, said: “Our last season was not a commendable one but how can we forget the team’s title-winning campaign in 2016-17?
“It was like a fairy tale which underlined the state’s true potential, let alone the club’s. There’s no reason why we can’t replicate the same once again.”
Vanlalnghenga, another mid-fielder who has switched to Aizawl from Chanmari, mentioned that it’s every budding Mizo footballer’s “dream” to represent Aizawl FC in his career.
“Every Mizo footballer nurtures a dream of playing for Aizawl FC. I’m really excited to have got this opportunity and determined to make a mark in I-League.”
Vanlalzuidika represented Chhinga Veng FC in Mizoram Premier League as well as the second division league.
PC Laldinpuia played for Electric Veng FC and Chhinga Veng FC previously and his pace down the flank might come handy for Stanley’s team.
“I always had a dream to play in Hero I-League and now, can’t wait further to hit the pitch. The competition will be tough but we are confident of performing better,” he said.
Lalmalsawma, another defender from Electric Veng FC, is eager to replicate his form he showed in Mizoram Premier League. He was nominated for the best defender of the state league last season.
“I’m eager to play in I-League and would leave no stone unturned to perform as I did in MPL last season.”
Thasiama, the versatile winger who had donned the Chanmari FC and Chhinga Veng colours previously, thanked Robert Royte and the entire Aizawl FC management for showing faith in him.