Eugeneson Lyngdoh: Back in the ISL mix and raring to go

The creative midfielder and former AIFF Player of The Year has lost two seasons due to injury. Lyngdoh will turn out for SC East Bengal in ISL 2020-21.

By Naveen Peter ·

For Eugeneson Lyngdoh, the 2015-16 season stands out in many ways. The Shillong-born midfielder was the talk of the town then.

Featuring in a Bengaluru FC side that had Indian talisman Sunil Chhetri in it, Eugeneson Lyngdoh carved a place for himself with his creativity and set-piece prowess.

Lyngdoh was also an integral part of the Bengaluru side that reached the final of the AFC Cup - a first for an Indian team - and wrapped up the season with the AIFF Player of the Year award.

It came as no surprise when the now-dissolved FC Pune City splashed Rs 1.05 crore in the Indian Super League (ISL) auction for Lyngdoh’s services. The creative midfielder proved his worth in the ISL that season and was soon roped in by champions ATK the following year.

But Lyngdoh’s career came to a halt soon after as he suffered a Lateral Collateral Ligament injury that ruled him out for the season.

The journey back has not been easy for the 34-year-old Eugeneson Lyngdoh. While he featured in five matches for ATK in 2018-19, the following season he was offloaded to Bengaluru FC where he found it hard to get enough playing time.

With SC East Bengal for ISL 2020-21, the Indian international is keen to get back into his groove.

“I know I’ve lost a couple of years due to that injury, but now I am fit and ready to go out there,” Lyngdoh told the AIFF TV. “Now I have to maintain my fitness levels and be up for selection so that I can play.”

Admitting that injuries are hard to deal with for any football player, Eugeneson Lyngdoh believed that a strong mental resolve often helps through the difficult phase.

“Injury is the most difficult thing in football. It plays with your mind, so it’s important to stay strong psychologically. It’s not easy when you see that your team-mates are fit and up and running, while you are still injured or recovering. But in the end, what really defines you is how you get back from the injury,” Lyngdoh pointed out.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh will be seen in action when SC East Bengal begin their debut ISL campaign with the Kolkata derby against ATK Mohun Bagan on November 27.