Gokulam Kerala FC has signed Indian midfielder Malemngamba Meitei from NEROCA FC for the 2019-20 I-League. The Manipuri represented the North-Eastern side on several occasions in the previous season, having largely impressed with his playmaking skills throughout. Even though he was on the radar of Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters FC, it’s the I-League neighbours who finally secured his services.
This will be a great inclusion for 'The Malabarian' due to the fact that the footballer is very versatile and can even play a winger. Meitei started playing football at a very young age in his village in Yaripok, a small district in Manipur. His love for football got a push when he saw the Brazilian team won the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Ronaldo Nazario is a big inspiration in his life. Meitei is a footballer who brings a lot of pace to the game along with his crossing abilities.
Having started his club career for NEROCA FC in 2008, he played for many clubs following that. Meitei got a break in 2010 when he was roped in by newly promoted I-League side HAL. Subsequently, he played for Salgaoncar FC, Bengaluru FC, Mumbai FC, TRAU FC and finally settled in NEROCA FC after he was released from ISL outfits North East United FC. After his inspiring display with his previous employers, it will be a challenge to re-create a similar feat with a team which has been struggling off-late.
Gokulam Kerala FC has been termed as ‘giant killers’ after their impressive show towards the end of the 2017-18 I-League season. But they misfired in the previous edition having just avoided relegation to the second division. There is still a lot of time for the club to re-group the squad ahead of the new season. Meitei’s presence will bring an added flair to the line-up and better claim at the I-League title.