AIFF

FIFA U17 World Cup: What did Jeakson Singh say about India's chances?

[caption id="attachment_52242" align="aligncenter" width="580"]India will begin their FIFA World Cup campaign against USA on October 6. File Pic India will begin their FIFA World Cup campaign against USA on October 6.
File Pic[/caption]

Internet Desk: Despite a continuous concern of insufficient income troubling the youngstar, Jeakson Singh decides to put away these thoughts out of his mind and concentrate about the upcoming FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 tournament.

Hailing from Haokha Mamang village in Manipur's Thoubal district the defensive footballer’s father suffered a stroke in 2015 as a result he had to leave his job at Manipur police and since then the income of the family has been meager.

His family is now run dependent on the meagre income brought by his mother from selling vegetables at the Khwairamband Bazar in Imphal, 25km from her home.

"When I left home for Chandigarh in 2010, it was alright. But my father had a stroke (in 2015) and cannot properly look after the family now. My mother sells vegetables at Khwairamband Bazar (in Imphal) with my maternal grandmother and that is the family income as my father had to leave the job when his illness started," Jeakson said.

"I have been dreaming of playing for India since childhood and my life has changed. I am looking forward to wearing the India jersey in this World Cup. But I am worried about the condition of my family," the 16-year-old said on Tuesday.

Jeakson's elder brother Jonichand Singh is also a contributor to the income as he is currently playing for Peerless club in Kolkata Premier League but that has not made much of a difference to their family back home.

Not just the financial issues, Jeakson had also had to face the disappointment of being rejected by the national selectors in 2015 when he was with an academy in Chandigarh.

But his indomitable will has brought him back into the Indian team for the U-17 World Cup beginning on October 6.

"I was initially with the Chandigarh Football Academy and I appeared for the trials in 2015 but could not make it to the India team. I did not lose heart and kept on thinking that I will one day make it to the Indian team," Jeakson said.

Jeakson then joined Minerva, another Chandigarh-based academy. He then went on to lead Minerva to the national U15 and U16 titles in 2016 and 2017. That led to Minerva being invited to play friendly matches against the India U17 team in Goa in March.

"The chance came when Minerva was invited to play friendly matches in Goa against the India U17 side. We beat India U17 team 1-0 and after that I and three others from Minerva were selected for the India camp at the AIFF Academy in Goa," said the defensive midfielder.

Luis Norton de Matos, who recently took over as head coach, lost no time in picking four players, including Jeakson, into the India team.

Jeakson said his side will show the world that they can also compete against the best in the world.

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