Jeje Lalpekhlua, the 22-year-old Mizoram striker who signed for Goan giants Dempo SC at the start of the 2013/14 Airtel I-League season has scored four goals so far. Recently named the 2013 AIFF Emerging Player for the Year, Lalpekhlua, feels his Team can go on to win the Airtel I-League this season.
How did you react after winning the 2013 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year?
I’m happy that the All India Football Federation have recognised my hard work and named me as the Emerging Player this year. It’s a moment of joy for me and a drive to perform even better next year and subsequently in the coming years. I’ve got to work even harder from now on. I must add that I was lucky enough not to suffer from any major injuries this year. It was the best possible manner to finish 2013 on a high and as I look forward to 2014, I’m positive.
You have four goals to your name in the Airtel I-League at the moment. How much does that make you confident?
It is definitely a good feeling. I always aim and try my best to score more goals, as many as possible. I’ll try scoring more as well, as it is my aim. Scoring goals enhances one’s confidence and one is eventually rewarded. It feels nice to be back in the National Team once again.
Are you happy the manner in which things have panned out so far?
I hope to keep improving. So far, I’m satisfied with my performances. However, I am looking forward to performing much better than I have done so far.
Which are the areas would you like to improve on?
Football is a Team game. It is all about team work. If that can be performed well, the Team also develops as a whole.
How do you see Dempo’s chances this season?
We are definite title contenders this season, and I’m sure we can go all the way. We definitely can win the title this year!
As of now, we haven’t seen Dempo perform very well this season, and they are sitting in the 10th position in the table. Do you still think you are title contenders?
Of course! We are pretty sure we’ll do a turnaround. It is football after all, and anything is possible. We have a new Coach, and it is like a bit of a transition period for us. We need time to get on with the things, and once we have accustomed to everything, the results will speak! What drives us all is positivity.
Which milestone are you looking forward to achieving this Season?
I will try my best, and look forward to scoring as much as I can. I also want to play a key role in helping Dempo win the Airtel I-League title this season.
Finally, how did you spend your Christmas this year?
Well, it is the time of the year we look forward to! And yeah, a bit of shopping, celebrations, and most importantly, some quality time with my family!
I also wish all of you a wonderful New Year.