BY ANSELM NORONHA Follow @apnoronha on twitter
North East United FC's Aiborlang Khongjee, who is on-loan from I-League side Shillong Lajong FC, feels that the Indian Super League (ISL) will help Indian players to up their game.
"I am very happy to get the opportunity to play for North East United as I feel that this is a big platform for all the Indian players to play alongside experienced foreign footballers and to work with high profile coaches," he mentioned to Goal.
"This is our chance to prove ourselves and to make an impact on the pitch. This will also help us to grow and improve our performances and I will take all that [opportunity]. I will learn during this entire process and deliver higher quality performance throughout my career."
Shillong has witnessed a packed house each time Shillong Lajong or Rangdajied United played at home. Would the same hold true when North East United FC play at Guwahati?
"The crowd in Guwahati will be massive," replied Khongjee. "The entire north east will come together to support the team and our fans have always been our biggest strength. I believe that all the eight [north-eastern] states [of India] will be united as one for the game that they love the most and cheer their hearts out for the team which represents the north east in the form of NEUFC."
With an average age of 21.32, North East United FC has the youngest team among the eight ISL franchisees with the international players draft yet to be completed, but the former Mohun Bagan player isn't deterred.
"We may be the youngest team, but we have talented, skilful, youthful and technically smart players in the squad. The addition of foreign players will also have a good impact in the team as we will gain more exposure and improve much more in our playing style.
"I do not see any problem in facing other ISL teams who have older players in their respective teams and we will also give all the other teams tough competition with our energy and passion that I see in my team mates," Khongjee commented.
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