Indian Super League franchise NorthEast United FC have announced the retention of five players ahead of the upcoming 2020/21 season.
Amongst them is experienced goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, defenders Rakesh Pradhan and Wayne Vaz besides young midfielders Lalengmawia and Ninthoinganba Meetei.
33 year old Kolkata-born Subhasish Roy Chowdhury is a product of the Tata Football Academy. He started his senior career with East Bengal Club and then went on to play for Mahindra United and Dempo SC in the I-League, before joining Atletico de Kolkata. He went on loan to East Bengal and thereafter played for Delhi Dynamos, FC Goa, East Bengal, Kerala Blasters and finally Jamshedpur FC before moving to the NorthEast to join the Highlanders.
23 year old Dima Hasao-born Rakesh Pradhan started playing football in his native Assam before making it to the Shillong Lajong FC Academy. Rakesh has been a regular for Shillong Lajong FC in the I-League and Super Cup, and after their relegation moved to NorthEast United FC last year.
26 year old Mumbai-born Wayne Vaz came onto the national scene while playing for Chennai City FC after stints with Air India and Mumbai FC. From there he joined FC Pune City, but he didn’t get any match time which resulted in two loan spells with former I-League champions Churchill Brothers before Wayne moved to the Highlanders and made his brekathrough in the ISL.
The 19-year-old Mizoram-born Lalengmawia started playing football from the tender age of six and rose through the ranks rapidly. Back in 2017, he became the only player from his state to make into India’s historic squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Lalengmawia is a natural central midfielder, who is also capable of playing a more attacking role and as a left winger. He made 11 appearances for Indian Arrows in the I-League 2018-19 and also scored a goal before joining the Highlanders last summer.
The 19 year old Ninthoinganba Meetei was signed following a terrific 2018-19 campaign for the Indian Arrows. He played 15 I-League matches for the club and scored twice. Meetei was also part of the Arrows’ Super Cup 2019 squad and played both matches. He rose to prominence after being selected for the India U-17 squad for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Meanwhile Kivi Zhimomi of Nagaland, who still had a contract with the Highlanders has been released.