Tag Archives: Football

Chennai – Schools Premier League returns with ISL champions Chennaiyin FC as the partners

Chennai, Schools Premier League, ISL, Chennayin FC, Football, GrassrootsRated one of the best grassroots initiatives, Schools Premier League which was launched in the city in 2014, is back again. After being a massive hit with schools in the first season, the second edition of the league returns with Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC as the partners.

It kicked off today at MCC schools. Radiance Sports are title sponsors this season and the league will be called ‘ Radiance Sports – Schools Premier League ‘, whileArtemis Cars have agreed to be associate sponsors.Vidya Mandir won the first edition of the Schools Premier League, beating Velammal School in a nail biting encounter under lights at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The league will see 16 schools from the city compete in the under-14 age category. The 16 teams will be split into two groups with the top two from each group qualifying for the semi-finals. There are plans to expand the league next year to target more age-group categories and also increase the number of participants.

Chennaiyin FC will provide complete match kits for all the schools in the league. The top performing kids in this league will have a chance to be selected for Chennaiyin FC’s Centre of Excellence program. Newly-appointed Chennaiyin FC assistant coach and technical directorof grassroots Syed Sabir Pasha and the club’s development officers will be closely following the tournament to identify the best talents.

Chennai, Schools Premier League, ISL, Chennayin FC, Football, GrassrootsVarun Tripuraneni, Chennaiyin FC Chief Operating Officer and Founder of Schools Premier League commented, “The league was a massive hit in season one and schools were constantly behind us to organise the second edition of the league. We are now happy to return with Chennaiyin FC as the partners.

“We had terrific participation from schools in the first season where we had players, parents, school principals glued to the website for constant updates on matches, statistics, points table and we believe that this season, the league will be even bigger. The introduction of the schools league was something we felt was paramount for the development of football in local schools and this was the motive behind us starting such an initiative.

“The Radiance Sports – Schools Premier League, in partnership with Chennaiyin FC, is an opportunity to provide these hopeful youngsters a platform to showcase and refine their football talents. The response from the schools has been extremely positive from the first season and it was extremely tough shortliting the 16 school teams this season. I would like to thank Radiance Sports, for buying into our vision and supporting us in what will be a first of its kind league in the country.

“Having Chennaiyin FC as the partners will also give the participants extra motivation as our club will closely monitor the matches and select the best performers for our Centre of Excellence.”

Chennaiyin FC assistant coach and technical director of grassroots Syed Sabir Pasha said, “We at Chennaiyin FC are always looking to develop the best talent of the state and partnering with this league gives us an opportunity to see more talented young footballers in action. I encourage all the schools, kids, coaches, teachers and parents to give their very best in this tournament.”

Mr Varun Manian, Managing Director – Radiance Developers Pct Ltd commented, “We are very proud to associate with Schools Premier League as principal sponsor. We were associated with this initiative in the first season as well and we believe that this initiative will go a long way in developing the young talent in the country. We wish all the participating teams the best of luck.  “

 

SportsMechanics – Schools Premier League : Strategic Partnership

Schools Premier league along with SportsMechanics India a leader in Sports Analytics, Consulting, technology services today announced a strategic partnership with the schools premier league to leverage the latest technological advances, fan engagement and analytics to transform the experience of local football fans in the city, teams and players in the grassroots segment.

As part of this Deal, Sports Mechanics will become the Fan Engagement Partner and Technology Sponsor of the Schools Premier league for the next two years.

Varun Tripuraneni, Founder, Schools Premier League said, “ we welcome an industry leader in SportsMechanics to this league and take an important step towards exploring new opportunities in this area “.

‘’ Our partnership with Sports Mechanics will focus on fan engagement across various digital mediums.An important part of developing players is ensuring they are prepared in the best possible way. The players can watch highlights of the goals scored, look at the other important statistics like shots on target, minutes played and also analyse the opposition by knowing their performance in the previous games which will all be available on the website,” added Varun.

C.K.M.Dhananjai, One of the Founding Members and Vice President, SportsMechanics, said, “ We are looking forward to create a unique digital platform and think about how we can discover and execute differential and engaging experiences for fans for a unique tournament like this.

Playing sports in school is something we would have all cherished and enjoyed. SportsMechanics would like to re invent and bring these memories using our Platforms to give schools, players, coaches and fans with an immersive experience across the schools premier league’s digital channel.

This will also mean that the information available can be used by coaches, players and teams to analyse their own performances too.

Kerala – Just Play Project Manager Applications invited

Just Play, Football, Kerala, Grassroots, KFA, AIFF, OFC, Australia, Oceania Football Confederation, Grassroots, State, Job, ApplicationThe Australian Football Federation with the support of Australian Govt along with the Oceania Football Confederation have with the approval of AIFF decided to implement the award winning grassroots football development program “JUST PLAY” in Kerala on a pilot project basis.

The “JUST PLAY” program will be implemented by a Project Manager which will be a full time position based in Kochi. The Kerala Football Association on behalf of “JUST PLAY” invites applications from candidates who are interested to take up the posting.

The Project Manager will co-ordinate with the KFA as well as the Oceania Football Confederation to implement the program, he/she will also be responsible for expanding the program across the state, consult and work the state government, monitor and evaluate the program and report the same.

The candidate must be a Master’s Degree holder in Program Management/MBA/Economics/ Social Science and have 2 years professional experience in Program Management.

Selected candidate will be trained by Oceania Football Confederation and provided competitive remuneration package based on Skills and experience.

Applications must be mailed to KFA office by post or email on fakerala@rediffmail.com by latest Feb 25th evening.

Job Description & How to apply :

Just Play, Football, Kerala, Grassroots, KFA, AIFF, OFC, Australia, Oceania Football Confederation, Grassroots, State, Job, Application

 

From the Street to Santosh trophy – Inspiring Story of Bibin Ajayan, Jharkhand’s Santosh Trophy player

Bibin Ajayan, SAIL, Mohun Bagan, Academy, Football, Bokaro, janaseva sisu bhavan, Aluva, Kochi, Football, Kerala, KollamWhen Bibin’s mother Vasantha left their home, with her toddlers after persistent harassment from her husband, she would have never imagined what lay in store for her son, Bibin.

Her misery did not end after leaving home either – She was brutally attacked by some people on the street in Kochi in June 2006 and was shifted to a near-by hospital. She left her four kids including Bibin in Janaseva Sisubahavan in Aluva, a care-home for street children.

Bibin learned the basics of football from the Janaseva sports academy under the guidance of former Kerala Santosh trophy player Soly Xavier. He then went on to captain Ernakulam district team and then the Kerala state team. In 2014, Bibin was selected to the SAIL football academy in Bokaro. Since then he has been training with the academy in Jharkhand.

Now, his talent has been recognized and is being rewarded as he got selected to represent Jharkhand in the 2016 Santosh Trophy East Zone qualifiers taking place in Kolkata. Bibin is only 17 and is probably one of the youngest players ever to play in Santosh Trophy. He has a long career ahead and we wish him all the best!

LG partners IFA for LG IFA Shield U-19 Tournament 2015-2016

 IFA, LG Electronics, India, Football, U-19, Soccer, FA Shield, TournamentKolkata, 2nd February 2016 – IFA announced its partnership with LG Electronics for the LG IFA Shield U-19 Tournament today.

 

The IFA Shield is the most prestigious football competition organized by the Indian Football Association since 1893. It is the fourth oldest club cup competition in the world after the English and Scottish FA cup’s and the Durand cup. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the viewership of football in India and the IFA Shield, which was made into a U-19 Tournament two years ago, is confident of gaining huge popularity.

 

To spread the popularity of LG IFA Shield U-19 Football Tournament beyond the borders of Bengal, some of the group matches of the tournament will be played in Kerala and Goa. As part of IFA’s commitment of development of youth football, IFA is committed to make the LG IFA Shield U-19 Tournament 2015-2016 into the most popular U-19 tournament in India.

 

Mr Baichung Bhutia unveiled the shield, which, even though the tournament has been modified into a U-19 tournament, has not changed since its inception. The country’s biggest U-19 sporting spectacle will see ten teams competing with each other over four weeks beginning  16th Feb.

 

With 23 matches being played across Bengal, Goa, and Kerala, this tournament celebrates the vibrant spirit of football showcasing some of the best U-19 talent available in the country today. The historical shield will also be taken on a Trophy Tour across various malls and social clubs in Kolkata in bid to bring the game closer to football fans and create more excitement around the tournament.

 

The participant includes Kingfisher East Bengal Club, Mohun Bagan AC, Md. Sporting Club, United Sports Club and U-19 team of All India Football Federation.

 

Besides these 5 teams, discussions are on with a team from Kerala, a team from Goa, Crystal Palace FC and one other overseas team.

 

LG India has also planned various online and on-ground promotional activities to engage with consumers and football aficionados and create a buzz around the tournament. The promotions will happen at all the major brand stores and MBOs. With buy-and-win offers, if you are lucky you could even win a chance to meet the celebrity.

 

Commenting on the occasion, Mr Niladri Datta, Head Corporate Marketing, LG Electronics India said, “LG has always believed in the spirit of sports and it is a great honour for LG to be associated with the Indian Football Association. We are happy to encourage young sporting talent by providing a platform for them to showcase their skills and spirit. Kolkata is the city of football lovers, where the game is followed ardently and we are thrilled to be here amidst all the positivity. LG salutes the spirit of the game that resonates strength, competition and dynamism. This association with IFA also serves as a platform for LG to connect with consumers who are football fans and passionate about the game.”

 

Speaking at the Press Conference, Mr UK Ganguli, Hony. Secretary of IFA (WB) said, “We are delighted to have LG Electronics as our partner for LG IFA Shield U-19 Tournament 2015-2016 and are extremely grateful for their support for Bengal football in general, and LG IFA Shield U-19 Tournament 2015-2016 in particular. The development of youth football is essential for improving the performance of Bengal football as well as Indian football and the LG IFA Shield U-19 Tournament 2015-2016 will provide an opportunity for the most talented U-19 players of the country to showcase their performance. LG, apart from supporting the tournament as the Title Sponsor, has planned various promotional activities to create interest for the tournament and we hope that the football loving people of Bengal will extend their support for the tournament by watching the matches in large numbers and cheering for their favourite teams in person.’’

 

Mr Baichung Bhutia, who attended the Press Conference as Special Invitee, said, “Kolkata and football are synonymous with each other and it is a great honour to be here for the LG IFA Shield U-19 Tournament 2015-2016. It gives me immense pleasure in promoting a game that is close to my heart and embedded into the socio-cultural fabric of the city.”

 

Ms Mimi Chakraborty, the popular film actress and youth icon said, “I have grown up watching football in Kolkata and I am very happy to be a part of this legendary tournament. I hope to see Kolkatans come together to celebrate the spirit of the game and have an experience of a lifetime.”

Academy League Kicks off in Kerala

Ramco Academy League, Football, Kerala, Grassroots, Soccer,

 

In a first of it’s kind, Kerala Football Association is conducting a academy league in which football academies across the state will be competing. Fourteen teams competing in the league are divided in to four groups. The winner from each group will enter the semi finals of the the competition.

Group A:

Talent FA (Palakkad); Falcon (Wayanad); MSP (Malappuram); St. Mary’s Arakkulam (Idukki).

Group B:

Kickers FA (Kannur); St. George Academy; Kaippuzha (Kottayam); Chavara FA (Kollam); Red Star FA (Thrissur).

Group C:

New Soccer Academy (Kozhikode); Eravil Coaching Cenre (Kasargod); SCA Academy (Pathanamthitta).

Group B:

Janaseva Athani (Ernakulam); Santos FA; Ochira (Alappuzha); SBFA, Poovar (Thiruvananthapuram).

Fixtures:

Ramco Academy League, Football, Kerala, Grassroots, Soccer,

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

 

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!

Robin Singh ruled out for at least 6 months!

Robin Singh, Football, SAFF Suzuki Cup, Sri Lanka, Bengaluru FC, I-league, AFC CupRobin Singh suffered knee injury while playing the group stage match against Sri Lanka in SAFF cup. He suffered the injury while scoring his second goal against Lanka and was seen writhing in pain. Afterwards, he was immediately taken to the hospital.

National team coach had confirmed the next day that injury was not serious and Robin will be available for selection for the match against Nepal. However he did not make it to the squad versus Nepal and later news emerged that Robin was ruled from the rest of the SAFF cup.

He flew to Bangalore later for further assessment of his injury. Bengaluru FC owner Parth Jindal has taken to twitter to confirm that Robin will be ruled for an extended period.

Looks like Robin will be out for at least 6 months and this going to be a big blow for Bengaluru FC. BFC will miss his service for I-league and AFC Cup.

 

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