Spreading the beautiful game across different regions of the country is one of the key objectives in Vision 2047, and the Federation’s plan to host the Hero Super Cup in Kerala, where both Hero ISL and Hero I-League teams will come together, is part of it. the-aiff.com is currently in Malappuram and Kozhikode and is following the progress of the clubs in the Hero Super Cup closely in a series of stories.
AIFF Media Team
KOZHIKODE: It has been a rather disappointing season for Jamshedpur FC. From winning the Hero ISL League Winners’ Shield in 2021-22 to finishing second from bottom in 2022-23, there could hardly have been a bigger contrast in their fortunes.
That was followed by 1-3 loss at the hands of Mumbai City FC in the first Hero Club Playoff for a spot in the AFC Champions League Group Stage. However, the side from the Steel City has seen somewhat of a resurgence since that match, defeating defending champions of the Hero Super Cup FC Goa (5-3) and recently-crowned Hero ISL champions ATK Mohun Bagan (3-0). The latest of these two victories saw a rather unlikely figure emerge with two goals to his name, on what was an emotional night for the fullback – Boris Singh Thangjam.
The 23-year-old has previously played for ATK Mohun Bagan, and scoring two goals against his former club was a rather unusual moment for him.
“I’m really happy that I scored for my club, but it was one of those (unusual) moments,” Boris said to the-aiff.com. “Of course, I’ve played at ATK Mohun Bagan before, I know all the people there, and I know about the culture and history of the club. These are also things that motivate you as a player when you are preparing for the match. But this is part and parcel of the game. I have full respect for them, but at the same time, I’m really happy to have helped Jamshedpur win the game.”
The 23-year-old is one that has enjoyed one of the most successful times as a junior footballer, having come through the AIFF Elite Academy, to play the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, before spending two seasons with the junior unit in the Hero I-League.
“I’m very thankful to the Federation for the opportunity it gave me in the early stages of my career. I got to play an U-17 World Cup, and also played in the Hero I-League, which really helped me develop as a player,” said Boris. “After that ATK Mohun Bagan was my first club in the Hero ISL, and I did struggle for some time there, but that’s part and parcel of eveyr player’s career. I taught me to fight harder.”
The 23-year-old is now looking forward to a good knockout stage in the Hero Super Cup after Jamshedpur FC sealed their place in semi-finals with the win against ATK Mohun Bagan.
“Now I am really enjoying my time in Jamshedpur. Everyone is in a positive mood and all are working hard to try and win this trophy. That is our aim after the end of a difficult season,” said Boris. “We will take it one game at a time. We next play Gokulam Kerala, and though we’ve already qualified, we want to keep our form going.”
While winning the Hero Super Cup is on Boris’ immediate bucket list, the fullback harbours dreams of representing the Blue Tigers one day, something that certain former teammates from the U-17 days have already done.
“I want to play in the national team one day. It is a big dream, but I am willing to keep working hard and hope that sooner or later I will get there,” he said. “Some of my friends from the U-17 days are already plying in the National Team. Suresh (Wangjam) is my best friend, and he always keeps motivating me.”