RYNTIH SPORTS CLUB WILL make their debut in the national circuit this season at the I-League Qualifiers, and they will be taking to the field with an all-Indian contingent.
Established in 1998 as Ryntih Sports & Culture Club, Ryntih SC is the only club in the competition that's fully owned by a community. Based out of Mawlai Mawdatbaki, they have been playing in Shillong Premier League for a while and won the All Indian Chief Minister Gold Cup last year.
On top of naming an all-domestic squad, Ryntih have picked the vast majority of the players from their own youth and Shillong Premier League sides, or from other clubs and academies within Meghalaya.
The only player in the squad who is not from Meghalaya is the former Shillong Lajong goalkeeper Neithoville Chalieu, who hails from Dimapur, Nagaland.
The most high profile signing that the club has pulled off this season is that of Chesterpaul Lyngdoh, who has played for major clubs like Churchill Brothers, Mohun Bagan and Real Kashmir in the past. They have also brought in former Shillong Lajong regular Kenstar Kharshong, who was part of Kerala Blasters' first team last season but did not make an appearance in the ISL.
The full squad of Ryntih SC, in alphabetical order, is given below:
Allen Camper Lyngdoh Nongbri - Defender
Andy Zakhary Mawthoh - Midfielder
Archibald Kharbuli - Midfielder
Badonkupar Marbaniang - Forward
Banpynkhrawnam Nongkhlaw - Defender
Bickyson Kharkongor - Forward
Chesterpaul Lyngdoh - Midfielder
Damanbhalang Chyne - Midfielder
Damkei Khongstia - Midfielder
Dawanchwa Carlos Challam - Forward
Dawanpleilad Myrchiang - Defender
Derick Khongsit - Defender
Eric Nongkhlaw - Goalkeeper
Hardy Cliff Nongbri - Midfielder
Kenstar Kharshong - Defender
Kyntiewshaphrang Kharlukhi - Midfielder
Mebankhraw Khyriem Wahlang - Defender
Neithoville Chalieu - Goalkeeper
Padam Chettri - Goalkeeper
Pynshongdor Shadap - Defender
Reson Malniang - Midfielder
Robert Khongjoh - Forward
Ronaldkydon Lyngdoh Nonglait - Midfielder
Shaibor Nongrum - Forward
Sheen Stevenson Sohktung - Forward
Wilbert Donboklang Marbaniang - Forward
Due to Meghalaya's strict COVID-19 restrictions, the club had to take special precautions while training over the last few months. After finishing a pre-season camp at the SAI Ground in Shillong, the team finally flew to Bengaluru on 25th September.
Although at one point Shillong was home to three top division clubs, the state of Meghalaya has seen its presence diminish in the national circuit since the year 2014. In the 2018-19 season, Shillong Lajong fielded a young side in the top division and got relegated. Since then, no club from Meghalaya has played in the major national level comeptitions.
Ryntih SC's arrival in I-League Qualifiers may be the beginning of a revival of Shillong football, which has been known as one of the finest youth development hubs in the country.