RFYS Golden Boot winner Annaroy Soibam earns Odisha FC youth team call-up


Young Imphal footballer Annaroy Soibam, part of  Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) National Championships winning team, had earned a call-up to Indian Super League (ISL) side Odisha FC’s youth team.

Annaroy Soibam, the captain of Unique Model Academy sub-junior (Under-14) boys team, had won the Golden Boot title in the championships by scoring 11 goals in five matches. His goal-scoring spree impressed scouts from various clubs who were present in Mumbai during the tournament.

“I'm very excited to be a part of Odisha FC. It's a great opportunity for me at this stage of my career and I'll try to do my best for the team," Annaroy Soibam said.

Odisha FC U-18 team head coach Sandeep Alhan, who will now have Annaroy Soibam under his supervision, described the RFYS tournament as a ‘very good and competitive’ platform.

“He has a good attacking sense. We can use him in all attacking positions, as a winger on either side or as a forward. He has good shooting qualities and is a good finisher,” Sandeep Alhan said about Annaroy Soibam.

Annaroy Soibam tremendous talent was on display throughout the tournament in January at the Reliance Corporate Park in Mumbai. He put up a man-of-the-match performance in the final against Progress High School from Goa.

Once his team had taken a dominant 3-0 lead and virtually sealed the title in the first half itself, Annaroy Soibam produced some magic of his own with a rasping left-footer after motoring past a hapless defender for the team’s final goal in a 4-0 sweep.

In every match of the competition, Annaroy Soibam made life difficult for defence line-ups with his eye-catching speed and ball awareness, showing himself to be equally adept at scoring with either foot.

Having lost his father as a child, Annaroy Soibam was encouraged to chase his footballing dreams by his uncle while his mother and sister have also been pillars of support.

“We are a very pleased that Annaroy is getting the chance so early in his journey to be part of an excellent professional set-up such as Odisha FC.

“The objective of organising the tournament is exactly this, to provide a platform for kids across the country to display their talent and get noticed for higher honours. Annaroy was one of the standout performers at the National championships and we hope that in the upcoming years many more such talented players are discovered at the tournament, who can go on to enrich Indian football,” an RFYS spokesperson said.