Meghalaya in Sanskrit means ‘the abode of clouds’. And if one has to reside in this celestial orbit, it must be the chosen one. Well, not for nothing have the football crazy populace of Meghalaya, and Shillong in particular, named their football club as Rangdajied United Football Club.
In the local Khasi language of Meghalaya, Rangdajied means ‘the chosen one’. And now the chosen one has chosen to raise the bar of their performance and figure in the I-League elite division from the 2013-14 season onwards.
Rangdajied put forth a splendid display in the preliminary and the final phase of the 2nd division I-League football tournament to eventually emerge as the unbeaten champions and gain promotion along with Kolkata’s Mohammedan Sporting.
They made the final phase by topping group A with another Shillong outfit Langsning FC taking the second spot. But Langsning could do no better than finish fourth in the final phase.
Nevertheless, Rangdajied sent Shillong and Meghalaya delirious with joy by becoming the second team from the hilly state to make it to the I-League proper. Shillong Lajong FC were the first and still remain in the top division, an achievement in itself.
So now the fans at home will have the opportunity of witnessing more matches once the I-League first division commences next season.
Founded in 1987 as Ar-Hima FC, the club figured in the second division by that name earlier too but did not do much of note.
“Ar-Hima is a locality in Shillong and people of that locality wanted a separate club for them. So Ranjdajied FC was formed and since the last four years, we have been taking part by this name, which means ‘the chosen one’,” said coach Khlainpyr Khap Syiemlieh.
“We are a society-based clubs and depend on contributions and sponsorships of our supporters and well-wishers for all our activities. Now that we have qualified, they are all very happy back home and have been celebrating. It will be a totally different scenario when we reach home,” Khlainpyr said.
“Surely, people are very, very happy. More so as there will be two Shillong clubs next year and that means more matches for them to enjoy and come out and support their favourite teams,” the coach added.
“We have a mixture of local, outstation and foreign players. The only yardstick is merit and the ability of the club to meet their demands. The boys have worked very hard for this and I give all credit to them,” said the humble Khlainpyr.
“We have local Shillong and Meghalaya players. We have players from Manipur, Assam and other north east areas. We also have players from Bengal and have added foreigners too. Our approach has been very professional and we have reaped rich rewards for that,” he stated.