Player to Watch: David Lalrinmuana - 'Time will tell if I will play in the ISL'

Goal profiles the Mizo lad who holds the distinction of scoring against Manchester United academy...

GOAL SPECIAL REPORT    |   BY   ANSELM NORONHA    Follow @apnoronha on Twitter

David Lalrinmuana joined the Mohun Bagan academy in 2006 after featuring for Mizoram in the Subroto Cup. It was during his stint with the Mariners' under-15 team that he scored the opening goal against Manchester United academy team in the Nike Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC), although he limped off the pitch later in the tie and the Indian team lost 4-1. 

"In 2007, I joined Madras Sporting Union in Chennai, in the Chennai Super League. I was 15 running and playing the senior team. After that, I went back home and played in the under-16 nationals (Mizoram) and under-19 in 2008," the 23-year-old recalled his early steps in senior football.

"I was with Faria Strikers in Goa from 2008 to 2012," he added. During that time, Lalrinmuana operated as a striker and played for Mizoram in the Santosh Trophy tournaments in 2010 and 2012 before turning out for the state’s under-21 squad in the 18th Datta Ray Trophy (under-21 nationals) which was held in Goa.

Two seasons before getting promoted in the I-League, he joined Aizawl FC and played in the I-League second division where his team finished at the bottom in the final round of the competition. However, his performance didn't go unnoticed as he won the "Best Player" in the I-League second division as well as "Player of The Year" at ZoFooty’s annual awards.

Lalrinmuana got his first taste of the I-League with newly promoted side ONGC FC in the 2012-13 season before returning to Aizawl in the following year. He helped them get promoted into the top division of Indian football and also picked up the ZoFooty "Player of The Year" once again in 2015 and Mizoram Premier League (MPL) "Player of the Year" 2015 and 2016.

He was also nominated by the Football Players' Association of India (FPAI) for the "Fans Player of The Year" award which was eventually won by Mohun Bagan's Debjit Majumder by a slim margin in the 2016 FPAI Indian Football Awards in Mumbai.

The 23-year-old was adjudged the "Hero of the Match" FOUR times in the last I-League season with Aizawl FC who got relegated at the end of the season. However, Aizawl have made it to the semi-finals of the Federation Cup where they face Sporting Clube de Goa after overcoming defending champions Bengaluru FC in the quarter-finals.

It also comes as a co-incidence that Aizawl coach Jahar Das was the chief coach during Lalrinmuana's time at the Mohun Bagan academy and that Mohun Bagan senior team coach Sanjoy Sen also mentored the player at an under-16 national team camp.

GOAL READ MORE  | What about Aizawl FC's philosophy?

"He is like my son. So naturally he gets all my sympathy and affection. He always listens to me also. He has been improving so much from the first time I saw him to the time I found him back in my team (Aizawl). He got four best player (Hero of the match) prizes in the I-League; I don't think any other player has got that many awards in one season," Das professed.

Speaking of his future, Larinmuana’s contract with Aizawl runs out in June and like any other he too wishes to feature in the glamorous Indian Super League (ISL).

"In this season, we have played good football. However, we have shown a lack of experience and we didn't win three points regularly. I hope we get a chance in the Federation Cup. I hope that our relegation will get revoked but I don't know what will happen. Time will tell if I will play for the ISL. Some offers are coming but I will decide after the Federation Cup," he signed off.