Suresh Wangjam shuttles between Badminton and Football with dad during off-season

As the World celebrates #FathersDay BFC youngster Suresh Wangjam speaks out about his father wanting him to take up badminton than football, and his dad’s influence on his life.

As the World celebrates #FathersDay BFC youngster Suresh Wangjam speaks out about his father wanting him to take up badminton than football, and his dad’s influence on his life.

A small crowd gathers in anticipation in front of a roadside badminton court in Imphal, Manipur, as dusk is about to descend. The court itself is based on a concrete floor rather than a wooden or a rubber one, surrounded by cloth-walls, enveloping it in a makeshift shamiana with an asbestos cover overhead. Through the shamiana, one can see an array of bikes parked outside by the side of the seemingly empty road.

A game is going on with the two players going fiercely at one another. The younger duo shows a great deal of athleticism, moving around the court with ease, often jumping high to smash the shuttlecock back over the net. However, the older one uses all their experience to anticipate their opponent’s move and be one step ahead at every turn as smashes keep raining on them. At the end of the long, winding rally, a deft drop-shot by one of the older gentlemen catches the younger duo off guard as the shuttlecock hits the floor.

Former India U-17 FIFA World Cupper Suresh Wangjam lets out a groan in despair, as his father celebrates in an animated manner.

“We have had three singles matches between ourselves so far. I won the first one, but then my father came back to win the next two. He just wouldn’t stop bragging about it to my mom and my sisters when we went back home after the third match,” Suresh said with a smile.

The 19-year-old has made it a habit to play badminton with his father and local friends whenever he comes back home during the offseason. “It’s a sport that really gives me a good workout which is very much needed during the off-season. It not only helps me maintain fitness, but also helps keep my reflexes sharp.”


While he is the well-known footballer that he is today, Suresh’s father Wangjam Chandra Singh had at first set out to make his son a shuttler.

“My father was a district-level badminton player himself. So I think he wanted me to play badminton,” Suresh informed. “We trained a lot when I was eight or nine, and then he took me to a few tournaments.”

The youngster did not do too well in the tournaments and came back empty-handed. His real interest, though against the wishes of his parents the 19-year-old claims, lied in the ‘beautiful game.’

“Badminton was good, but football attracted me more. I loved playing football but my parents were afraid that I would suffer gruesome injuries playing football. But I didn’t care. I used to run away from the house and play with my friends. Of course, it meant that whenever I came back, I would be severely scolded by my father.

“They started to assign a lot of tuition teachers to me in order to keep me away from playing from football, but I still used to find some way. Once I told called up my teacher and told her that we won’t be home, so she needn’t come. And at home, I told the folks that she won’t be coming and went out to play. You can just imagine my father’s reaction after he found out,” he laughed.

However, his parents began to see the merit in letting their son play football once he got selected in B Chandra Memorial Academy in Imphal, and subsequently went on to play for the junior state teams.

Suresh was finally scouted from the Sub Junior National Football Championship and brought into the national team fold in 2014, after which he joined the squad that would eventually go on to play in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.

“Till then my objective was to get to the National Team and everyone was really happy that I got there. But my father told me that I needed to set new targets once I got selected. He told me to never stop after achieving a certain goal, and that is one piece of advice that has really helped me down the years,” Suresh informed.


While Suresh’s career as a football player was on the rise through the U-17 ranks things were not always so easy at home. Wangjam Chandra Singh went through a difficult phase of depression.

“It was a really confusing time for me. On the one hand, I was achieving new things on the football pitch that really made me happy, but on the other hand, I was always worried about things at home,” he said.

“When you are preparing for a tournament or a match, or even playing a game, you want to fully concentrate on the matter at hand. But at that time, I could not fully concentrate on things, because I was always worried about my father’s health.”

“Normally, we would talk every day over the phone, and he would give me advice on different things. That really helps when you are living away from home for a long time,” said Suresh. “I missed these talks during that phase.”

However, senior Wangjam soon came out of that phase and that was soon reflected on Suresh’s results in the 2018-19 season, when he helped the Indian Arrows round off the memorable season with two major upsets against Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters in the Hero I-League.

Also Read: Leander D’Cunha earns promotion to FC Goa first team

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

MDFA 1st Division side Madanpura Sports Club soon to host trials

With football gradually returning, Mumbai based Madanpura Sports Club are slated to conduct trials for the upcoming season. Madanpura Sports Club is the Junior team of Bombay Muslims SC, who…


Feugo Tormento FC to host trials for MDFA 1st Division

Newly promoted Feugo Tormento FC are set to revamp their squad for the 2020-21 MDFA 1st Division tournament. After a rampant past season, Feugo Tormento was promoted to the 1st…


Regal FC trials postponed to April

Mumbai based MDFA 3rd Division side Regal FC has postponed their upcoming trials to a new tentative date in April, amidst the Corona Virus outbreak Regal football Club had earlier announced…


Mumbai Marines FC to hold trials for MDFA 1st Division

Newly promoted side Mumbai Marines FC are on the lookout for players for the upcoming season of the MDFA 1st Division, the club announced. After a successful MDFA 2nd Division…


Regal FC to conduct trials for 3rd Division campaign

Mumbai based MDFA 3rd Division side Regal FC will be conducting a two day football trials for city footballers for their upcoming season Regal football Club has announced that they…


GKW Rangers FC to conduct YPL U14 and 3rd Division trials

Mumbai based GKW Rangers FC will conduct trials for its MDFA 3rd division side as well as its U14 age group team that competes in MDFA Yuva Premier League U14….


Rhino Sports Academy to conduct trials on March 15th

Mumbai based Rhino Sports Academy will be conducting trials for its upcoming seasons of MDFA 1st Division and MDFA 3rd Division Rhino Sports Academy will be fielding a side each…


OSCAR SSE to conduct age group trials for its 2020-21 Season Elite Program

OSCAR SSE, a 2 star AIFF Accredited Academy, will be conducting age group trials (U13, U15 and U18 players) to induct in its Elite Program for 2020-21 season All the…


Sterling FA to conduct 2nd round of trials for MDFA 1st division team

Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting their 2nd round of trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 29nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be…


Sterling FA to conduct trials for MDFA 1st division team

Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 22nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be fielding a team in…