By Anselm Noronha
Alen Deory was one of the sixteen India Under-14 boys to spend nine months at the IMG Soccer Academy at Florida, USA, four years ago.
The scholarship program was part of the joint venture by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and IMG to develop, market and manage sports in India and has turned out to be a boon for Indian football as the first part of their partnership with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in 2010.
"It was a very good experience for me. In studies and football wise I learned many things; how to improve yourself. Now I am better in English," Deory told Goal about his experience in America.
Further narrating his journey, he added, "I used to play on a ground near my house every evening. First I played for India U-13 in 2009, then I got called up for India U-14, after which I got selected for this scholarship."
Deory is confident that NorthEast United FC are a competitive side while hoping for a big inaugural season of the ISL.
"It (ISL) will be big. We (NorthEast United) are training hard everyday with the objective of competing with other teams. All our young players are very good and we can play against anybody," said the 18-year-old.
With John Abraham's involvement in the sport as the co-owner of the ISL franchise along with Shillong Lajong's Larsing Ming Sawyan, Deory feels lucky to represent NorthEast Unied.
"It's good for us that he (John Abraham) took up the team along with the Lajong club. We are very lucky that we have this opportunity to play in the ISL," he stated.
"After the ISL, I will be playing in the Federation Cup and the I-League. I already signed for Shillong Lajong for fours years. If I get a chance to give a trial out of India, I will be ready for that," the 18 year-old went on to reveal.For someone who has been named after former England striker Alan Shearer, who happens to be his father's favourite player, Alen Deory also has a role model of his own.
"My favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo for his style of playing," the midfielder confessed.