India has been under lockdown for more than 50 days now. While staying home everyone is trying to catch up with their favourite stars. Following the trend Highlander Brigade also started the #HiHighlander campaign. In our first interview, we decided to begin where it matters the most- the grassroots and decided to go live on Instagram with NEUFC youth team coach Subam Rabha. Famous among the football aficionados of Assam for being the youngest coach ever from Assam to get an AFC B license, Subam answered all our questions pretty eloquently.
Coming from a football-crazy area in Guwahati, Subam started playing at a young age; but unfortunately, his playing journey came to an end due to an injury. The love for the game of football kept him from quitting the game and he decided to contribute to the game by taking up coaching instead. During the lockdown, the young coach is Netflixing and studying lots of football books to amp up his footballing knowledge.
When asked about the chances of the young Highlanders of NEUFC youth team playing in the senior team in the future, the coach cited the example of 16-year-old Alfred Lalroutsang who made his debut for the senior team this year to become the youngest player ever to play in the ISL; and said: "Alfred is the perfect example for our youth players". He stressed that the young Highlanders have potential but they also need some time and exposure to reach that stage. On being quizzed about the structure of the youth leagues in India he suggested that the more the number of games in the league the better it is for the players.
Subam also hopes that NEUFC wins at least three ISL titles in the next ten years. Well, you're not alone Subam! every NEUFC fan stands with you in wishing the same.
The young lad has been with NEUFC for past 5 years and has experienced work culture under as many coaches so far. He says he learnt a lot from the foreign coaches, especially the professionalism. When asked about his thoughts on Highlander Brigade, he particularly mentioned the "Pacman banner" that HB made in ISL 5 in a home match against BFC and shared how encouraged they were to have the Brigade supporting them. Being inspired by former NEUFC Coach Eelco Schattorie the most, he prefers passing, building up and dominating the opposing team.
We asked how he'd like to contribute to Indian football, he was quick to add that if he can at first develop players from his community successfully that would be the least he can do to contribute to the Indian scene. Subam has a simple but important suggestion for the budding coaches of the region - "learn and learn, also get your licenses done". His suggestion for Highlander Brigade was to enlarge our group and compete with everyone. We assure you Subam! we have taken note of your suggestion. We recognize that a job becomes interesting when there is competition and HB will work on that front very soon. The Rapid Fire Round : - Favourite Indian player: Rowlin Borges - Favourite NEUFC player: Bartholomew Ogbeche - Favourite club in India: North East United FC - The favourite player in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo - Favourite club in the world: Real Madrid - Favourite kit colour of NEUFC: white - Any superstition/ritual that you follow before a game: No predicting about the result of a game beforehand. - Favourite passtime: watching movies on Netflix and learning more about football - Favourite coach/manager in ISL: Eelco Schattorie Watch the full interview here: