After an impressive tenure with NEROCA FC, midfielder-cum-winger Malemnganba Meitei may switch leagues very soon from the I-League to the Indian Super League as teams like Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC are interested in the marksman.
Malemnganba Meitei, simply known as 'Malem', began his football career with NEROCA FC itself, back in 2007. He spent two years in their youth setup before getting his first professional contract with NEROCA in 2009.
After a season with the Orange Brigade, he signed a contract with NISA (North Imphal Sporting Association) and continued to play in the Manipur State League. He went on to win the Manipur State League and made his way into the National Football circuit via the I-League 2nd Division.
After his heroics in the 2nd Division I-League with NISA, HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Club) Bangalore wrapped him up and he made his way into the National Top Division, the I-League. He then moved to Salgaocar SC and then shifted back to Bengaluru, where he won the I-League and the Federation Cup with Bengaluru FC in their debut season.
In 2015, he moved to Mumbai FC and played few games for the 'Yellow Brigade' in the Mumbai City League and the I-League. Failing to retain his spot in Mumbai, he returned to his boyhood club NEROCA FC in 2016, where an amazing NEROCA side went on to win the I-League 2nd Division.
He was then enlisted in the ISL Player Draft in 2017, when Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC joined the ISL bandwagon. He was picked by NorthEast United, but failed to get much game time and was loaned out to I-League 2nd Division side TRAU (Tiddim Road Athletic Union) FC. He joined NEROCA again after his contract ended with NorthEast United ended, prior to the 2018-19 I-League season.
He got a lot of gametime under Spaniard Manuel Retamero Fraile. He started 19 out of the 20 games NEROCA played. Malem showed glimpses of instant pace and trickery on the wings and in the middle of tha park, which caught quite a few eyes of the Indian Football Pandits. He scored against Indian Arrows at home in a dominating 3-0 win. He also created a goal against Shillong Lajong in Shillong in an exciting 2-1 derby win.
Malem Meitei will add a considerable amount of pace for both Jamshedpur and Kerala. He can turn any game on its head with his good elevated crossing abilities.Published 07 May 2019, 20:03 IST