Monthly Archives: January 2016

Kovalam FC on a fine run in the U-15 Youth League

Ebin Rose, Kovalam FC, India, Football, Indianfootball, Grassroots, Kerala, Football, Academy, Thirvananthapuram, SoccerKovalam FC, the sole participant from Kerala in the ongoing U-15 Youth League is on a fine run. With one more match to go, Kovalam is currently the toppers of Group F : Rest of India II.

After going down to Fateh Hyderabad 2-1 in a closely contested opening match, Kovalam FC came back strongly to defeat Boca Juniors Football academy from Bangalore 7-1 in their second match. From then on there has been no looking back for Kovalam FC. In the subsequent matches, Kovalam defeated Mahogany FC 4-1(Chennai) and overcame Ozone FC (Bengaluru) 2-1.

Ebin Rose, Kovalam FC, India, Football, Indianfootball, Grassroots, Kerala, Football, Academy,Thiruvananthapuram, SoccerKovalam FC will play their final match on 30th vs Bengaluru FC. Kovalam will have to at least manage a draw from their last match, if they have to maintain their chances to qualify for the final round of the U-15 league. Two teams from each group would qualify to the next stage where they would be divided into two groups. Subsequently Top two teams will get the nod to semi-finals and eventual final will decide the maiden winner of U-15 Youth League.

Kovalam FC’s story is a typical rags to riches one. After a modest beginning in 2009 with 20 footballers, Kovalam FC has one of the finest grassroots set up in Kerala with over 100 players training with the team now.

Do check out this interview we did with Ebin Rose (former Kerala & I-league player), who is the chief coach and dons the all-in-all role at Kovalam FC:

Interview : Kovalam FC’s Ebin Rose on Grassroots Development and More

Goal 2016 – Inter-Collegiate football tournament is underway in Kerala

Goal, Football, Tournament, college, Kerala, Football, Soccer, Indian Express, TVS, Inter-collegeBelieve it or not, The New Indian express conducts an Inter-collegiate football tournament in Kerala – Goal 2016, that offers a prize money of 2 Lakhs for the winners, 1 lakh for the runner-up team and ten TVS Apache bikes are given off for the best ten players in the tournament.

The latest edition of the tournament is currently underway in the Sports Council Stadium, Kottappady, Malappuram. Here are the fixtures of the tournament. The final match of the tournament will be aired Asianet Cable vision.

Group A Fixtures

Goal, Football, Tournament, college, Kerala, Football, Soccer, Indian Express, TVS, Inter-college

Group B fixtures

Goal, Football, Tournament, college, Kerala, Football, Soccer, Indian Express, TVS, Inter-college

 

Santosh Trophy 2016 : North Zone Qualifiers – Groups & Fixtures

Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Santosh Trophy, North zone, Football, 2016North Zone qualifiers for Santosh Trophy 2016 will be held in GGM Science College Jammu, in Jammu & Kashmir starting from February 6. Teams in the North zone are divided into two groups.

Jammu & Kashmir qualified from Group A and Punjab qualified from Punjab.

Group A : Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh
Group B  : Punjab, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh
Date  Schedule Results
Feb. 6 Jammu & kashmir vs Uttar Pradesh 1-0
Chandigarh vs Delhi 0-1
Feb. 7 Haryana vs Uttarakhand 1-0
Punjab vs Himachal Pradesh 5-0
Feb. 08 Delhi vs Uttar Pradesh 2-1
Chandigarh vs Jammu & Kashmir 0-4
Feb. 09 Uttarakhand vs Punjab 0-3
Himachal Pradesh vs Haryana 0-1
Feb.10
Uttar Pradesh vs Chandigarh 1-2
Jammu & Kashmir vs Delhi 1-1
Feb.11 Himachal Pradesh vs UttaraKhand 0-3
Punjab vs Haryana 1-1

 

Bengaluru FC replace injured Walker with Michael Collins

Michael Collins, Bengaluru FC, I-league, 2016, Huddersfield Town,Blues Sign Former Huddersfield, Oxford Midfielder Till End Of 2015-16 Season

Bengaluru:  Bengaluru FC, on Thursday, announced that the club would be replacing injured midfielder Joshua Walker with fellow Englishman and midfielder Michael Collins. Walker, who missed the first two games of the season with a knee issue, faces a long enough layoff to keep him out for the rest of the season, prompting Ashley Westwood to ring in the change.

“It’s under unfortunate circumstances that we have to replace Josh with another player but this is a short, congested season which means we had to move quickly. We’ve done our due diligence on Michael and I’ve spoken with former coaches, players and current scouts on the basis of which I’ve made my choice. Michael has more than 300 games in English football under his belt, is a good character and will be a good example of a professional to everyone around,” said Westwood.

Twenty-nine-year-old Collins started his career with Huddersfield Town with whom he spent six seasons, playing 173 times and scoring 19 goals. His second substantial spell was with current League One team Scunthorpe United where he played 79 games before moves to AFC Wimbledon (loan), Oxford City and York City (loan).

Interestingly, Walker and Collins have been teammates at Scunthorpe and the duo have been exchanging notes. “I’m very excited to start this chapter of my career. I got a call from the gaffer who gave me a lowdown about the League and more after which I had a word with my family and decided that this is the right time in my career to try something new. I’ve even been speaking with Josh who keeps filling me in,” said Collins who hails from Halifax.

Collins is slated to arrive in the country over the coming week, ruling him out of the Blues first home game against Shillong Lajong on Sunday. “There’s no time to stele in and I’m going to have to blend in right away. But I don’t think that should be a worry because I’ve been keeping myself fit. I can’t wait to come over and play my part in helping the club win the League,” said Collins who has 6 caps for the Republic of Ireland at the under-21 level.

While Walker has been replaced and de-registered from the I-League, he continues to be a Bengaluru FC player. “It’s unfortunate what happened with Josh Walker but it’s a call that had to be taken. However, he still remains a Bengaluru FC player and we wish him a speedy recovery. He was brilliant for us last season and had a big hand in the successful season the club produced. We will be working with him closely to see him recover to full fitness at the earliest,” said Mustafa Ghouse, COO of Bengaluru FC.

 

Santosh Trophy 2016 : South Zone Qualifiers – Groups & Fixtures

Santosh Trophy, 2016, South Zone Qualifiers, Nagpur, final round, February, South Zone, QualifiersSouth Zone qualifiers for Santosh Trophy 2016 will be held in JN Stadium in Chennai starting from February 9. Teams in the south zone are divided into two groups.

Tamil Nadu and Services qualify for the final round to be held in Nagpur.

Group A : Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana & Andaman & Nicobar
Group B  : Services, Karnataka, Puducherry & Andhra Pradesh
Date Schedule Results
Feb. 9 Tamil Nadu vs Telangana 3-0
Feb. 9 Kerala vs Andaman & Nicobar Walkover for Ker
Feb. 10 Puducherry vs Services 0-12
Feb. 10 Karnataka vs Andhra Pradesh  1-0
Feb.11
Telangana vs Kerala  0-2
Feb.11 Tamil Nadu vs Andaman & Nicobar Walkover for TN
Feb.12 Puducherry vs Karnataka  0-4
Feb.12 Andhra pradesh vs Services 0-1
Feb.13
Andaman & Nicobar vs Telangana Walkover for TA
Feb.13 Kerala vs Tamil Nadu 1-1
Feb.14 Puducherry vs Andhra Pradesh 0-4
Feb.14 Services
vs Karnataka 3-2

 

Nagpur to host the final round of Santosh Trophy 2016

Santosh Trophy, 2016, South Zone Qualifiers, Nagpur, final round, FebruaryThe Hindu is reporting that the final round matches of Santosh Trophy 2016 will be held in Nagpur from February 29 to March 13. The south Zone qualifiers will be held in Chennai starting from from February 9 to 14.

 

 

That’s how the North East kicks it!

Football, North East, Charity, Community, Royal Whingdoh, Shillong Lajong, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, Assam, KolkataA glimpse of the football scene in Assam and Meghalaya!

When we planned a trip to the North East this December, I was all excited. Football, that was in my mind. When we had to replan our initial itinerary to avoid Tawang from the list and settle for Meghalaya and Assam, I was, even more, happy. Guwahati FC, Guwahati Town Club and the Shillong football scene was in my mind. It’s a year-end trip, my wife has yearned for a long trip for a long long time, all this meant I couldn’t outrightly tell her that I was looking forward only for football. I did not do that mistake! Will never do that!

However, I did send a message to Riewdondor Khongwir ( A good friend from Indian football Live FB Group) alerting him that I will be landing in Shillong and would love to meet up with him! We landed in Kolkata and took a train to Guwahati. While on the train we spotted a few football grounds in Bengal, however, I was terribly sad that I could not go to Salt Lake or feel that football frenzy in Kolkata. We did, however, see some hoardings of Atletico De Kolkata though.

Landed in Guwahati, took a cab all the way to Kaziranga and the whole place is littered, yes, littered with scenic football grounds. I hate tight schedules. For a laid back man like me, its a downer. In Assam too, I missed out seeing a stadium or a football match!

But that was not the case in Meghalaya. I met Riewdondor on the very first day I landed there. He assured me that he will take me to the JN stadium in Shillong. Again, we had so many places to visit and I was afraid if we could make it to the stadium. On our second day in Shillong, we took a trip to Cherrapunji. The wettest place on earth!

But the real surprise was a banner that welcomed us in Cherrapunji. An exhibition match between Shillong Lajong FC and Royal Wahindoh being played in a local ground. I had read about an exhibition match between the two sides some time ago. I thought the banner would be an old one.

We went around Cherrapunji and while we were on our way back, I could see crowd trickling to the ground and immediately told my cab driver to stop. We got down, walked up to the ground. What we saw afterwards is inexplicable. Junior teams from Lajong and Wahindoh was fighting it out on the field, and the stands were brimming with the crowd!

The best part was that the crowd had youngsters and elderly people, men and women, and even children holding hands and walking on the sides. Everyone cheering every single move! Unbelievable! Football in Meghalaya is a community festival. There were vendors selling all kinds of stuff around the ground, there were people perched on all possible parts of the field wanting to watch the match! It was an incredible experience! Sheer love for the game! I said to myself, this is the best part of my trip so far!

Next morning, Riewdondor came down to the hotel and we took a long walk to the Shillong JN stadium. All the way, we spoke about football, the huge role it plays in North East and, of course, the dismal affairs of Indian football. But a morning spent discussing football is definitely not any ordinary morning. We walked all the way to the stadium, saw the Polo grounds, newly laid artificial turf where Royal Wahindoh juniors were prepping for an upcoming match and then the stadium itself. JN stadium, which attracts huge crowds for the Lajong and Wahindoh matches, was in full glory under the morning sun. Riewdondor noticed that bucket seats were installed in the stadium. We stood there for a while chatting and he accompanied me back to the hotel. Thank you Riewdondor for taking me there!

The day before, I had managed to sneak into the Lajong office as well. I was bit late, though. Folks over there seemed pleasantly surprised seeing a football fan from down south barging into their office. However, they were kind enough to tell that if I could make it early in the morning the next day, I could meet the coach! 

There is no North East without football. For people there, the game is in their blood, to be nurtured as a community festival than a game, that bring people together, and keep their bonding with each other strong. If you are a football fan, and if you ever visit the North East of India, do watch a match there – your love for the game would just double! 

Credits to wifey for the pics and editorial support!

BOCA JUNIORS FOOTBALL SCHOOL INDIA TO PLAY UNDER 15 I-LEAGUE

Boca Juniors Football Schools, bangalore, UNDER 15, I-league, Youth, Soccer, Bangalore, Bengaluru, GrassrootsBoca Juniors Football School India (BJFSI), the premier football training academy in Bangalore has confirmed their participation in the inaugural edition of AIFF Under 15 I-League.  This participation comes as a consequent of successful completion by Boca Juniors Football School India of the AIFF Academy Certification Program introduced earlier during the year.

BJFSI will be participating in the Under 15 I-League under Rest of India Group and the first round of matches likely to be scheduled during January 2016.

“We are delighted to achieve this milestone through our organised approach and training framework under professional and qualified coaches. This will be fantastic platform for the boys to get exposed to competitive football environment in India. We applaud AIFF on their initiative to launch Under 15 Youth League “said Petros Sideris, Technical Director, BJFSI