From Mizoram to Odisha: The incredible tale of Odisha FC's Jerry Mawihmingthanga
Born in Mizoram, Jerry Mawihmingthanga is proud of the culture that he inherited from his home state and the values he represents on the field of football. Jerry is an Indian professional footballer who began his Hero Indian Super League (ISL) career with NorthEast United FC in 2016 before moving to Jamshedpur FC a year later.
However, Jerry made a real impact after joining Odisha FC in 2019, a club that has since become his home. However, he still keeps his home state Mizoram close to his heart.
“The greatest thing about Mizoram is that it is peaceful, and the respect we have for each other is one of the most important things for Mizo society,” Jerry said in an exclusive chat with Odisha FC TV.
The youngster has been into the sport ever since his childhood but it was only after finishing his education that he focussed more on his football. An aspiring army officer in his younger days, he believes that football has helped shape his life.
“I wanted to become an army officer since I was not good in school but football happened, and if not football, I have no idea what I would do. Since childhood, we played football back in Mizoram, and I started focusing on football after I finished my education, and if I had not chosen football then I would have gone into another sport,” he said.
Jerry joined Odisha FC in 2019 and has ever since been a vital part of the team, featuring on a consistent basis, especially in the Hero ISL 2022-23 season. The young winger has five goal involvements, which include three goals and two assists from 19 games. He has also combined well with fellow winger Nandhakumar Sekar, forming one of the finest attacking partnerships in the Hero ISL this season.
“It is good to see that people here (at Odisha FC) help us, they are friendly with us. We gel well as a team and are good friends, so it is not fair to single out one teammate as we are bonding well and have a good team spirit,” he stated.
However, it's difficult to ignore their numbers as Jerry and Nandhakumar Sekar have combined to provide 12 goal involvements to Odisha FC this season.
“Nandha is a good player, he is good with the ball and is fast. He is very tricky, and it feels good to play with him. I feel we can bring more firepower to the team. Collectively, we are looking forward to doing the best for the team to take us forward,” Jerry added.
Apart from the team, support from the family is the most important thing in a footballer’s life when they are away from the field. After wins but especially after a loss, the backing from your close ones helps the player get through the hard times, which eventually helps in the performance of the player
“It is important, especially on the nights when we do not win, because it is hard for every player who wants to win and give their very best for the team. During tough times, they (family members) are the ones who cheer us up. It helps us to start fresh on the next day, and go forward, and that is one of the most important things,” said Jerry, who shed light on the bond with his family members.
The 25-year-old will now be tasked with putting in a performance that helps Odisha FC reach the Hero ISL semi-final for the first time when they take on ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata on Saturday.