Despite offers from Indian Super League (ISL) clubs, Indian Arrows defensive duo Ruivah Hormipam and Bikash Yumnam will feature for RoundGlass Punjab FC in the I-League in the upcoming season, The Bridge can confirm.
Both Hormipam and Bikash had joined the Arrows on loan moves from Minerva Punjab FC which means they both have existing contracts with the Punjab-based club. Although RoundGlass Sports have acquired 100% stake in the club, the previous contracts with the players remain.
Hormipam, 18, is one of the most highly rated upcoming defenders in the country. The Manipuri footballer became an integral part of Indian Arrows in the 2019-20 season after joining in the summer, displaying maturity beyond his years. He made an instant impact on his debut against against Gokulam Kerala and established himself as a regular, making 14 appearances and clocking over 1260 minutes for Shanmugam Venkatesh's side.
Hormipam and Bikash at India U19 (Source: Facebook / Ruivah Hormipam)
Bikash, on the other hand, moved to Arrows in the winter transfer window. Still, the 16-year-old centre-back managed to make 9 appearances, clocking 777 minutes. With Hormipam, he formed a strong pair in the heart of the defence and impressed one and all with his tenacity and composure.
On the back of the duo's performance, a couple of ISL clubs were interested in roping them in. However, both Hormipam and Bikash have decided to honour their contracts with Punjab FC. In retrospect, it seems like a good decision because at Punjab. Only 3+1 foreigners will be allowed in the playing XI in the I-League from next season and as a result they are likely to get more meaningful game time which will surely aid their development.