The Indian U-16 football team is all set to kick off its campaign at the upcoming AFC U-16 Championships 2018 having secured their spot last year in September by finishing second in their group.
The young colts picked up a total of five points from three games, three of which came via a 3-0 win over Palestine, and had set the ball rolling for a successful qualification run.
Among the scorers in that game was fleet-footed Bekey Oram who found the net in the 74th minute and will be a key figure of the Indian attack which will take to the field in Malaysia. He was also part of the Indian team that lifted the SAFF U-15 championships in 2017, a victory that holds a special place in his heart.
“Lifting the SAFF trophy in Nepal has to be the most memorable moment so far for me. Winning the four-nation tournament in Serbia (in May 2018) was extremely special as well,” Oram said. Among the youngest members in the National team, the 14-year-old plays for the Bengaluru FC youth team and was also named their U-15 Player of the Year in May.
A pacey winger with an eye for goal, Oram’s playing style can be best described through the choice of his favourite players. “Lionel Messi”, he says with a big smile when asked about his role model on the pitch, before adding, “I also admire Udanta Singh for his speed and dribbling.”
Off the field, he is a huge fan of Bollywood star Aamir Khan and draws inspiration from the movie Dangal. “The story of Geeta and Babita Phogat shown in the movie is incredible and it shows the effort that goes into making a successful athlete,” said Oram. Besides watching movies, he also likes playing shooting games on his mobile phone.”
India’s best finish at the AFC U16 Championships came in 2002 when they reached the quarterfinals and for Oram, the target is to help his team create history. “I want to score in the semifinals at the AFC Championships and do everything I can to make my country proud in Malaysia,” he said.