Agents of Tomorrow

football, soccer, india, sonu lamba, ranti martins, sunil chhetri, agent, top, Dudu Omagbemi, Shankar, Rino Anto, Vineeth, Eugeneson, Israil Gurung

Mariadon Pathaw writes about football agents working in India.

The manager runs the game, players deliver the score, and the fans – they are the team’s 12th man, overwhelming the team with all their backing. During a transfer window, we hear about players, the management, and the board who takes a call on the transfers, and the manager who decides on the options available and so on, but seldom do we hear about the “agents” who are trying to get these transfers possible. They are a shadow presence in the whole scheme of things, and they represent the player at all times.

A football agent is someone who lightens the burden of players in matters relating to club transfers, salary and contract negotiations. A player appoints an agent and the agent takes care of everything related to his footballing side thus enabling the player to deliver maximum on the ground and stay focused on his trade of playing the game.

We are well aware of the famous agents of the west. Jorge Mendes, who represents Cristiano Ronaldo, Falcao, and Jose Mourinho. Pere Guardiola who was responsible for the $130 million transfer of Suarez to Barcelona FC and so on. But little do we know about the player agents in India, who work with our footballers.

Sunil Chhetri and Eugeneson Lyngdoh – these are the names synonymous to football in India. But who is responsible for their transfers? The man behind is Sonu Lamba, a top football player agent who deals with the country’s best football talent. In a conversation with Sonu Lamba, he shared how his great love and passion for Indian football brought him to his current career, moving away from his engineering and Merchant Navy stint. In 2013, when his daughter was born, he decided not to return to the sea and decided to pursue his passion and do his bit to develop football in India, and there began his stint as a football player agent. Sonu represents Sunil Chhetri, Rino Anto, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, CK Vineeth, Balwant Singh, Udanta Singh, Anwar Ali, Shankar Sampingiraj, Ashutosh Mehta, Keegan Pereira and Sehnaj Singh.

When asked about the biggest challenge in his job, he said, “it is gaining the player’s trust.” Player agents not only secure the best deal for a player, but also double up as a guiding force for the player, helping him in his professional life. He added, “Getting a deal is not the main job for an agent. His job is to make sure that the deal is in the best interest of the player. The agent is like the go-to man for the player for any problems he may have; I am here to solve it.”

Adewale Seriki, who hails from Nigeria and is currently in Goa, is no stranger to Indian football. This former JCT player is the man behind the contracts of various African players plying their trade in India. He represents a host of players including Friday GbenemeEbi SukorePenn OrjiObiora AnorueEkenne Ekenwa, and the attacking duo of Dudu Omagbemi and Ranti Martins. Apart from foreign players, Adewale also works with many local players who have the potential and the determination to work hard on field. Israil Gurung, currently playing for the FC Pune City is one among them. Coach Abdulaziz Bola, who won Durand Cup with Mohammedan Sporting in 2013, is also a client of Adewale. His enthusiasm to spend time on observing and studying local players has made him one of the few foreign agents in India, who deals with local as well as foreign talent.

Football in India is yet to make a mark. For the development of Indian football, it is imperative that agents play a role in ensuring that the players have the right remuneration, and are able to secure their rights during contracts. The work is yet to begin, and for Indian football, these are baby steps towards making a mark in the global football scene. Agents are here to help build that tomorrow, and the future definitely looks bright!

 

Editorial support from Sreedhanya

AFC Annual Awards 2015 Nominees

AFC, Asia, Football, Awards, Soccer, India, New Delhi

 

Here is the list of all nominees for the AFC Annual Awards 2015 that is taking place in New Delhi, India.

AFC Member Association of the Year

Inspiring
Football Federation Australia
IR Iran Football Federation
Japan Football Association

Developing
Hong Kong Football Association
Tajikistan Football Federation
Vietnam Football Federation

Aspiring
Bangladesh Football Federation
Bhutan Football Federation
National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam

AFC Dream Asia Award

Chinese Football Association
Japan Football Association
Vietnam Football Federation

AFC National Team of the Year

Men
Australia National Team
Korea Republic National Team
Uzbekistan U-20 National Team

Women
Japan Women’s National Team
Japan U-19 Women’s National Team
DPR Korea U-16 Women’s National Team

AFC Coach of the Year

Men
Ange Postecoglou (AUS)
Norio Sasaki (JPN)
Mahdi Ali Hassan (UAE)

Women
Gao Hong (CHN)
Asako Takakura (JPN)
Nuengrutai Srathongvian (THA)

AFC Player of the Year

Men
Zheng Zhi (CHN)
Ahmed Khalil (UAE)
Omar Abdulrahman (UAE)

Women
Elise Kellond-Knight (AUS)
Aya Miyama (JPN)
Rumi Utsugi (JPN)

AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football

Inspiring
IR Iran
Japan
Uzbekistan

Developing
Jordan
Palestine
Vietnam

Aspiring
Brunei Darussalam
Kyrgyz Republic
Sri Lanka

AFC Fair Play Association of the Year

Chinese Football Association
Japan Football Association
Korea Football Association

AFC Club of the Year

Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN)
Johor Darul Ta’zim (MAS)
Al Ahli (UAE)

AFC Futsal Player of the Year

Hasan Zadeh Navlighe Ali Asghar (IRN)
Vahid Shamsaee (IRN)
Mohammad Naser Safari (IRN)

AFC Futsal Team of the Year

Tasisat Daryaei (IRN)
Qadsia (KUW)
Thai Son Nam FC (VIE)

AFC Youth Player of the Year

Men
Dostonbek Khamdamov (UZB)
Eldor Shomurodov (UZB)
Zabikhillo Urinboev (UZB)

Women
Rikako Kobayashi (JPN)
Ri Hae Yon (PRK)
Ri Hyang Sim (PRK)

AFC Foreign Player of the Year

Everton Augusto De Barros Ribeiro (BRA)
Ricardo Goulart Pereira (BRA)
Juan Carlos Rodriguez Belencoso (ESP)

AFC Asian International Player of the Year

Massimo Luongo (AUS)
Ki Sung Yueng (KOR)
Son Heung Min (KOR)

Federation Cup to return in 2016?

Football, Indianfootball, Federation Cup, Kerala, Soccer

The I-league executive committee meeting happened today evening and news is trickling out that Federation Cup will be revived in 2016. A PTI report quotes sources inside AIFF in a report confirming this development.

“It has informally decided that AIFF is likely re-start the Federation Cup from May, 2016 after the conclusion of the I-league. It has been decided that Federation Cup will be a month-long affair rather than being a 10-day thing which has been the norm. It will be held in home and away knock-out basis,” says an unidentified AIFF official in the PTI report.

The logic behind this quick reversal of ideas is attributed to the fact that I-league will only be a nine-team affair after Royal Wahindoh’s pull out.

“Look, if it is a 9-team I-League, then each team will play only 16 I-League matches. That is an insufficient number. Now to play the qualifying rounds of the AFC Champions League, a club needs to play a minimum of 18 matches in a year,” the source said.

“So Federation Cup will be an 8-team affair. So at least 8 teams will get a chance to play 18 matches. The 9th team of I-League in any case will be relegated. The decision to have a one-month Federation Cup was taken on AIFF Academy Director Scott Odonell’s recommendation. It was seconded by senior vice-president Subrata Dutta,” said the official to PTI.

 

Read the PTI report here.

Who is best Indian Player in ISL so far?

indian super league 2015, ISL, Football, India, HeroISL, IMG, IMG-Reliance, Ambani, Reliance, Domestic Players, I-league, Free Agent, Bengaluru FCIndian Super league season two has seen impressive performances from our country men. Some players who did not get a chance to appear in the first season has come and put in strong performances, while some continued their great streak of form from last season. Here is a chance to vote for your favorite players in ISL so far! If your favorite player is not listed in the poll, Select other and comment your favorite players names in the comments section!

Take the poll

 

Neil Taylor Picks up Player Award at the third Asian Football Awards (AFA)

Asian Football Awards, 2015, Football, Wales, U.K, Premier League, Asian, Origin, Sikh,England, West Ham, Tottenham, Swansea City FCWales and Premier League star wins prestigious award

Aditi Chauhan, the West Ham United Ladies FC and India national goalkeeper, won the Woman in Football Award
Swansea City FC and Wales defender Neil Taylor picked up the Player Award at the third Asian Football Awards (AFA) in a glittering ceremony at Wembley Stadium on Thursday evening.
Taylor overcame a challenge from Wolverhampton Wanderers FC captain Danny Batth and the West Bromwich Albion FC and England U17 striker Adil Nabi, currently on loan at Delhi Dynamos FC in the Indian Premier League.
As well as cementing his place as a regular in Swansea’s defence, the 26-year-old Taylor will be off to Euro 2016 next year after helping Wales qualify for a major tournament for the first time since the 1958 World Cup.
Taylor, whose mother is from Kolkata in India, also won the award in 2013.
He said: “It’s a great feeling to win this award. I am pleased to be here tonight to pick it up, it means a lot to me. Hopefully Asian football flourishes throughout the years.My advice to any young aspiring player is to sacrifice. You have to be willing to sacrifice and
follow your own path of where you want to go, where you want to be and what you want to
achieve. You also need to have people who are willing to go on that journey with you.
Whatever background you are from, it doesn’t matter. You can make it to the top. Hopefully this can inspire the next generation of footballers.”
The judging panel for the awards included ex-England internationals Jermain Defoe, Graeme Le Saux and Steve Coppell, and Asian Football Awards founder Baljit Rihal said: “Our vision has constantly been to support the growth of Asians in football in the UK. Since our inaugural event in 2012, the media attention and support from all across the industry has been encouraging. “I can proudly say that the Asian Football Awards has been, and will continue to be, a significant platform to inspire more Asians into every aspect of the game.
“However, there is still much work to be done, as progress in increasing representation across the industry has been far too slow.more…“Our hope is that these awards will once again raise the Asians in football debate in the mainstream media and that influential organisations make an intensive effort to help rectify this longstanding imbalance.”
Aston Villa defender Easah Suliman, who recently represented England at the Under-17 World Cup in Chile, was named AFA Young Player. Two years ago Suliman became the first player with Pakistani heritage to captain an England representative side.
He said: “I feel very honoured and privileged to be here at such a great event. Neil Taylor is a massive inspiration for what he has achieved with Wales and Swansea. If I can emulate him I will have a decent career.”
South Korean star Ji So-yun, who plays for Chelsea Ladies in the Women’s Super League,
claimed the South East Asian Award ahead of Southampton’s Maya Yoshida and Swansea’s KiSung-Yueng.
Aditi Chauhan, Asian Football Awards, 2015, Football, Wales, U.K, Premier League, Asian, Origin, Sikh,England, West Ham, Tottenham, Swansea City FCGurjit Singh, from Kidderminster Harriers, was the winner of the Non-League Award, while Aditi Chauhan, the West Ham United Ladies FC and India national goalkeeper, won the Woman in Football Award.

Mohun Bagan to fight it out in court

Mohun Bagan, Court , United Spirits Limited, McDowell, Football, I-league, Mohun Bagan to file a liquidation suit against United Spirits Limited.

Mohun Bagan A.C. has had a long standing tie-up with UB Group since 1998 as the Sponsor of the Football Team and formed a company in the name of United Mohun Bagan Football Team Pvt. Ltd.

United Mohun Bagan Football Team Pvt. Ltd. had executed a Sponsorship agreement with United Spirits Limited dated 11th June 2013 for 10 years to provide financial assistance of Rs. 8 crore per year and from there on the sponsorship fund was deposited to our account every month, but since November 2014 the fund was unilaterally stopped by USL without any prior intimation.

Upon our inquiry with USL (East Division) and subsequent followup at their Head office, we came to know that Shareholders did not approve the said deal in their EGM dated November 28, 2014. However, in spite of not receiving any payment, Mohun Bagan continued in their commitment to give proper mileage and visibility to the brand “McDowell” as mentioned in the agreement.

On the other hand, Mohun Bagan have constantly tried to resolve the issue on the basis of our cordial relationship with USL but all our effort was unfruitful.

After hearing the current situation the Executive Committee Members of Mohun Bagan A.C. discussed that there is no other option but to file a liquidation suit against USL and thus recommended the Board of Directors of United Mohun Bagan Football Team Pvt. Ltd. to initiate the same as soon as possible to recover outstanding dues and implementation of the contract executed on 11th June 2013.

DSK Shivajians to play in I-league

DSK Shivajians, Football, Pune, Soccer, League, I-league, Top Tier

 

If reports are anything to go by, AIFF received a boost after Pune based team DSK Shivajians submitted their bid for playing in the top division of India, the I-league. With Bharat FC and Pune FC pulling out of the top flight, it was expected that I-league would be a nine team affair in the upcoming season.

DSK based in Pune, is running an academy in partnership Liverpool is easily expected to clear all the licensing criteria essential for I-league clubs to fulfill.

 

DSK submits bid, set to become I-League’s 10th club

Kerala FA announce Kerala Super League

Kerala Super League, Kerala, Football, Soccer, ISL, Style, Franchise, Kasaragode, Kannur, Wayand, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam,Kottyam, Idukki, Thriuvananthapuram, Franchise ,CMG, KolkataKerala Football Association has announced an ISL styled Kerala Super league that will start in Jan-Feb 2016 time frame in the state. KFA has also signed an 8 year contract with Kolkata based Celebrity Management Group for conducting the league. CMG was involved in the recently concluded Assam Premier League which was a great success.

A minimum of eight or twelve teams will compete in the league on home and away basis. Each teams will have a mandate to play U-23 and U-20 players in the team. There will also be a marquee player in each squad.

Ruud Gullit, Kerala Super League, Kerala, Football, Soccer, ISL, Style, Franchise, Kasaragode, Kannur, Wayand, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam,Kottyam, Idukki, Thriuvananthapuram, Franchise ,CMG, KolkataRuud Gullit to be Brand Ambassador

Former Chelsea and AC Milan player have been approached by KFA to be the brand ambassador of the tournament. KFA president was quoted in the New Indian Express saying “Talks are in advanced stage with former AC Milan and Chelsea midfielder Ruud Gullit to be the brand ambassador of KSL”

Corporates to bid for teams

Malayalam media is reporting that corporates who have a turn over of 10 cr per year or 25 crores over the last three years will be eligible for a bid. KFA is looking for teams from Kasaragode, Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Idukki and Thiruvananthapuram. KFA will also entertain more than one team from a district. Interested parties can download the bid document from KFA’s website starting from November 16th. A pre bid meeting for interested owners will be held in KFA’s office on November 22nd.

Peter Shilton to announce KSL teams:

United Nations in partnership with KFA is conducting a school football tourney in Kerala. Legendary British Goal Keeper Peter Shilton will be the chief guest for the final match of the UN @70 Trophy to be held in Kozhikode. Peter Shilton will announce the names of the franchises taking part in KSL.

Premier Skills Phase 2 training kicks off in India

British Council, Football, Kerala, Thrivananthapuram, Premier League, Goa, SAI, LNCPE, Referee, Coaching, Coaches, Fulham, Aston Villa, Tottenham, ScudamoreThe second phase of the hugely successful Premier Skills initiative, run by the Premier League and the British Council will take place from 2 to 7 November 2015 in Thiruvananthapuram, Keralaat Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE).

 

Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council. It uses football as a tool to help develop both community coaching and English language skills. The programme trains sports coaches, referees and youth leaders, enhancing their existing football skills, whilst also developing their leadership skills and a greater understanding of the role football can play in tackling other social issues.

 

In November 2014, for the Phase 1 training, coaches and referees of the Premier Skills Kolkata Goalz programme, belonging to Kerala Football Association, Goa Football Association, Sports Authority of India, and three NGOs, were trained at Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE), Kerala. Phase 2 consists of two training programmes: Coach Education (2 – 7 November 2015) and Referee Development (2 – 4 November 2015). The coach education programme will be attended by 36 Indian coaches and 24 Indian referees will participate in the referee programme. These coaches and referees (from Goa and Kerala) have been chosen from the Phase 1 participants.British Council, Football, Kerala, Thrivananthapuram, Premier League, Goa, SAI, LNCPE, Referee, Coaching, Coaches, Fulham, Aston Villa, Tottenham, Scudamore

 

During the programme, the coaches and referees will receive training from qualified Premier Skills coaches, giving them the skills and support to develop their own community football projects and development as referees and coaches. The coaches’ training programme will be led by experienced Premier Skills Head Coach Jeremy Weeks supported by Robert Perret, Sports Development Manager with Crystal Palace FC Foundation and Cheryl Edwards, Community Coach at Aston Villa Football Club. The referee training programme will be led by Graham Laws, Referee Coach at Professional Game Match Officials Limited supported by Michael Edward Murphy, Assistant Referee Coach.

The training will end with a demonstration of skills that the coaches and referees have learnt over the course of the programme. This will be showcased on Friday 6 November and Sunday 7 November, at SAI, LNCPE, Thiruvananthapuram.

 

The course in Thiruvananthapuram is being jointly organised by the British Council and Premier League in association with Sports Authority of India (SAI), Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kerala Football Association (KFA) and Goa Football Association (GFA).

 

In addition to coaching, a range of free materials, including a dedicated website, has been created under Premier Skills for teachers and learners of English that utilise exciting Premier League content and the British Council’s world-class expertise in English.

Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, said:

“I am thrilled that Premier Skills will return to India this week for Phase 2 of the project. In the UK, Premier League clubs have a long-held commitment to investing in and supporting local community and education programmes and that is now being mirrored internationally, with Premier Skills operating in 25 countries. Given the increasing interest in football in India we are proud to support the country’s growing enthusiasm for the sport by providing more highly trained coaches and referees to pass on their expertise through Premier Skills.”

 

Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council South India said

“We are delighted to present Premier Skills, Phase 2 training programme, our very successful partnership project with the Premier League in South India. It combines English and football, two universal languages and with the support of our local partners in India — Sports Authority of India (SAI), Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kerala Football Association (KFA) and Goa Football Association (GFA) — we have been able to provide this opportunity. As part of Phase 2 training, the Coach Education and Referee Development programmes will be attended by successful coaches and referees from Phase 1 of the project. We hope the coaches and referees find this training useful and are able to make the most impact in their respective communities”.

 

The Programme

 

Coach Education Programme: 2 – 7 November 2015

The Coach Education curriculum aims to develop a group of local master trainers at the end of the programme. It will help to develop community coach skills and knowledge. The training will be in three parts, over 18 – 24 months and involves attendance at and graduation from each part of the training. There will be learning and practical tasks that must be completed between each of the training. Those that are successful will need to demonstrate continued progress throughout the 3 Phases and with the tasks that they will be asked to complete between the training phases. Successful Phase 3 Graduates will become Premier Skills Coach Educators – and they will have an opportunity to train and develop new Premier Skills Community Coaches to support the work of their organisation.

 

Referee Development programme: 2 – 4 November 2014

The Referee Development programme is a two phase programme which offers participants an introduction to refereeing at grassroots level. Participants include referees that are already working in community football programmes but who have received minimal or no formal training to improve their refereeing skills and knowledge.

For more on Premier Skills visit http://www.britishcouncil.org/society/sport/current-programmes/premier-skills.

Jammu and Kashmir Super Division League 2015 – J&K Bank crowned Champions

Jammu and Kashmir, Super Division League Champions - J & K Bank, football, Khyber, J&K Bank crowned Champions, defeated JK Forest 2-0

In the ongoing  Jammu and Kashmir Super Division League Football Tournament 2015, J&K Bank defeated JK Forest XI by two goals to nil in the final match and thus crowned as the League Champions for the current playing season. The spectators in thousands witnessed the match here at TRC Synthetic Turf Football Stadium Srinagar.

Right from the whistle go Bank Team started playing their trade strategy of attacking football and got the breakthrough in 19th min by striker Adnan scoring a Superb goal on a through ball by Rizwan. Bank doubled their lead in the second half when Adnan assisted with a fine cross and Zubair netted the ball with a clean header. Rizwan came closer to score at couple of occasions by failed to convert. Forest Team also had some moments to sheer but failed to find the equalisers.

With three straight wins in the super round of top four, J&K Bank emerged as the Winners of the League 2015 securing all 9 points. JK Forest and LoneStar KFC secured 4 points each and CAPD Food Supplies were able to secure 1 point.

During the post match award ceremony Chief Guest on the occasion Hon’ ble Finance Minister Dr Haseeb A Drabu
presided over the function alongwith Guest of Honour Jinab Javaid Ahmad Shah, Secretary J&K SSC. President JKFA Jinab Z.A Thakur among other members of JKFA were also present. Dr. Drabu distributed prizes among Winners & Runners up teams and Officials of the tournament.

The tournament was being organized by J&K Football Association (DFA Srinagar) & Amblin Events. The Event was supported by J&K Bank, Khyber Cements, 92.7Big FM, Aryns Group Of Colleges, LIC of India, HK Cements, CP Advertiser, Posh Enterprises, Share Khan, Green end Corp.

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