Anju Tamang is aware of legendary Indian striker IM Vijayan’s fastest goal, scored on the 12th second of the South Asian Games match against Bhutan. Anju has created sensation by scoring the fastest goal during the ongoing Indian Women’s League (IWL) against SSB, Bangalore on May 9. Her timing of the strike was 14 seconds.
The interesting part is that Anju had dreamt of this fastest strike just a couple of hours before the match. Speaking from Kerala over phone on Monday, Anju whose lone goal helped India clinch Hero Gold Cup described, “I was dreaming of scoring such a goal just a couple of hours before match. With the pass coming to me just outside the box, my instinct elevated and I did not make any mistake.”
A lot of wishes and congratulatory messages had landed into Anju’s phone after she had scored the sensational goal. But the 24-year old striker has a desire. That is to receive a message from Vijayan. “Once all of us in Indian women’s team had sent Vijayan Sir a birthday wish to his mobile phone,” she said.
Anju seemed quite emotional after receiving the priceless love and affection from her family members. “My father Ram Singh Tamang is a small farmer. My mother Kanchi Maya also used to do a lot of hard work whole day, looking after us and helping my father in his jobs simultaneously. I had passion for football right from the beginning of my school days.”
“Born in Birpara, in the Duars region in Siliguri, I was admitted to Algarah School in Santook and from there I went to Sumi School in Kalimpong. I used to play football practically whole day. Even, after the sun set I continued playing with some boys at the school ground.”
“I used to play barefooted. My legs used to get bruised after playing on the ground which did not have grass. My parents used to scold me for playing football all the time. They wanted me to concentrate on study and then play the game so that I could secure a quality job in future.”
Anju has a dream of playing for an international club one day. “I will have to do more hard work to bring accuracy and technical precision in my game,” she said. In a bid to do that the striker who has been representing India continuously since 2017, watches training and match videos of her most favourite striker Neymar, and motivates herself only thinking of her parents’ sacrifice. Anju added, “When I look at my mother’s untiring hard work every day to look after our family and when I think of my father who has been farming on the field even under the scorching sun, even within storm and heavy rain, then I feel why cannot I succeed in football if I work hard.”
The striker pointed out that she would never give up to fulfill her dream of representing any foreign club at least for one season in future and then she wants to say to her father, “now stop farming, take rest. I am there to help you”.