Winning the League Winners’ Shield was the peak of my career so far: Jamshedpur FC’s Laldinliana Renthlei
Jamshedpur FC surprised everyone by topping the table in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) last season and winning their first League Winners’ Shile title as they jumped five places from the 2020-21 season.
Former head coach Owen Coyle was at the heart of the triumph as he forged together a group that was greater than the sum of its parts.
Laldinliana Renthlei who had accompanied the Scottish manager as he joined the club from Chennaiyin FC played a key role in Jamshedpur FC’s win.
He played 21 games for the Red Miners and provided two assists as he helped the club claim their first major silverware. For Renthlei, it was the highlight of his career so far.
“For me, it was a completely new emotion as it was the first time I had won the ISL Shield. Although I played in the Super Cup final and the ISL final when I was Chennaiyin FC, this trophy is the peak of my career till now,” Renthlei told Sportskeeda.com in an interview.
The 23-year-old defender thanked former boss Coyle for helping him achieve his dream of winning a trophy.
“Before Coyle came to Chennaiyin FC, I wasn’t getting many minutes. When he took over the head coach role, he trusted me and gave me a chance to play. In turn, I also gave my everything to him and the club. Because of him, I’ve reached this far. I want to thank him for bringing me to Jamshedpur FC,” he said.
Under new head coach Aidy Boothroyd, Jamshedpur FC has the tough task of repeating their success last season and Renthlei is hungry to win more trophies.
“Last season is over and now we’re going to start from point zero. Everything is going to be new, with a new team and a new coach. We’ll work hard as usual to win the Shield and the ISL title,” he said.
The Mizoram defender’s performances last season caught the eye of Indian national team head coach Igor Stimac who made it a point to highlight it. Although he couldn’t make it to his squad due to injury, Renthlei uses it as motivation to keep working hard and have another crack at a place in the national side.
“Yes, it definitely gives me motivation when the national team head coach wanted to call me up, but due to injury, I couldn’t make it to the camp. But this season, I’ll work harder and try again to get into the national team,” the 23-year-old said.
Unlike last season, there will be an added pressure of expectations on Jamshedpur FC but Renthlei believes the return of fans to their stadium will help them overcome any nerves.