ISL 2018/19: Chennaiyin FC sign Ngasepam Tondonba Singh from Neroca FC
What's the story?
After a brilliant season that saw them win their second Indian Super League title, Chennaiyin FC have announced the signing of defender Ngasepam Tondonba Singh from I-League runners-up Neroca FC on a free transfer.
In case you didn't know...
Tondonba has been a constant fixture in the Neroca FC back-four in the recently-concluded I-League season and has impressed one and all with his performances. Being a left-back, Tondonba has shown the propensity to go on overlapping runs, that adds to the attack of whichever team he plays for.
The heart of the matter
The 23-year-old defender has had a brilliant season with Neroca FC, as the club finished the I-League with the best defensive record, conceding just 13 goals from 18 matches, out of which, Tondonba played 17.
“I’m feeling really good on signing for Chennaiyin FC. I’m looking forward to learning and becoming a better player under the coach (John Gregory). I’m very grateful for this huge opportunity and I promise to work hard and prove myself at this level,” said Tondonba after signing with Chennayin FC. “I have always loved running, from a young age. And when I began playing football, I enjoyed overlapping a lot. Hence I became a left back.”
Chennaiyin FC's ISL-winning coach John Gregory also had words of praise for their latest left-back, calling him a solid defender with a "gifted left foot".
“I’ve always believed in healthy competition for places in the eleven and Tondonba is a welcome addition in that regard," said Gregory. "I have been told he is a solid defender with a very gifted left foot and great ability to overlap. He looks to be a player with immense potential as has been proved by his performances for NEROCA last season.”
Tondonba's signing gives Gregory a lot of options in the left-back position, with the likes of Jerry Lalrinzuala and Dhanachandra Singh already plying their trade at the club. Dhanachandra, who once marauded up and down the left flank at both Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin, has not had many opportunities of late, as he has been sidelined with injuries. Is Tontonba's signing a signal towards the end of Dhana's time with the Super Machans? Only time can tell.
Tondonba's signing shows that Chennaiyin are willing to invest in promising Indian players, who have shown their potential in the I-League. such transfer moves could only help the players, and the sport in the country grow as a whole.