The ongoing edition of the Nike Premier Cup, one of the most prestigious youth competitions in the country, has been a platform for talented youngsters to showcase what they are capable of.
With the tournament entering the decisive stage with the semifinals set to begin on Tuesday, DSK Shivajians' Seigoumang Doungel is relishing every chance that comes his way to play in a premier tournament.
The young midfielder spoke to Goal before his team's semifinal tie against Bengaluru FC.
"It (Nike Premier Cup) has been wonderful for me. Personally, it is great to participate in this tournament.," he elaborated. "It has given us a great platform for us to play great, quality football.
"Moreover, we are excited to reach the semifinal against Bengaluru FC.
"We are hoping for the best. We are taking it one game at a time. Our aim is to win the tournament."
Doungel, who is known as 'Lee' among his peers, expressed his gratefulness towards the All India Footbal Federation (AIFF) for having organised the tournament.
"It is a very big tournament and we are very grateful to everybody. Many teams bring their best teams here and we are thankful to Nike and AIFF for holding this tournament. Also, it helps Indian football a lot."
The young Manipuri midfielder has been in good form for his side in the group stages and even managed to bag a brace against Chennai's Raman Vijayan Soccer School. He feels the guidance given to him by the coaches at DSK Shivajians has really brought his game up by several levels.
"I came for trials and was selected by our coaches. They have helped me improve my game and taught me about the game. I am a better player now."
Doungel idolises Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi and is prepared to put in the hard yards to succeed in the game, just like his hero.
"The biggest takeaway for us from this tournament is the hardwork we have put in. My aim is to follow this, all my profesisonal life. There is always winning and losing but I want to learn always," says a mature-sounding Doungel.