Tag Archives: Soccer

I-League champions, Aizawl FC, appoints Portuguese Paulo Menezes as Head Coach

Aizawl FC, Indianfootball, Football, Mizoram, Aizawl, India, Soccer, Portugal, Spain, Coach, Manger, Paulo Menezes, i-leaguePortuguese coach Paulo Menezes ​appointed as the manager of I-League champions, Aizawl FC for the 201​7/18​ season.

​Paulo was part of the coaching setup which masterminded the triumphs of the invincible Spanish National Team in the Confederations Cup, FIFA World Cup and European Championship during its golden era (2013 to 2016).

“When my representatives,  Trebol Sports Internat​ional ​informed me about this opportunity, I did not even think twice about it. ​​I have learnt about Indian football since 4 years ago and I have spoken to many people about it and how much it has grown over the years.  I want to be part of this and Aizawl FC is right at the heartbeat of this crescendo of development”.

The 39-year-old Portuguese acknowledged that Indian clubs have improved a lot during the past few years but in order to reach the pinnacle, they need to to adopt the organizational structure of a European club.

“Clubs must be receptive to the idea of developing many departments- scouting, marketing and the most important thing, a youth academy.

​I believe that in order to be the best club in the country or this region, it is a must to build a strong academy. From the junior to the senior teams, they must adopt the same game model and tactical system so that there is consistency of play throughout all levels. The assimilation of youth players to a senior level will then become a seamless process”.

As a former Vicente del Bosque’s coaching staff, it is no surprise that Paulo adopts the same football philosophy as the fearsome La Roja.

“​I will like my players to play the offensive game with a high level of ball possession so that they can create many scoring chances.  Depending on the game situation, we will vary the tempo of our attack but the main focus is on ball rentention”.

Besides plans to impose his Model of Game on the team and improve the club footballing structure, the former World Cup winner is also interested in developing the capabilities of the local players.

“I will like to help the players improve their skills- be it technically or tactically, so they can become more competitive and maintain a strong mentality before and during the game.  ​I believe I can contribute to Indian football by getting as many of the  local players into the National Team as possible.  I derive an immense sense of pride whenever I see my players put on their national colours.”

Pending his visa approval, Paulo is expected to arrive in Aizawl early next week to assume his new role.

East Bengal pinning hopes on Khalid Jamil

East Bengal, Football, Khalid Jamil, I-league, Soccer, Kolkata, Indianfootball

After a great season with the Mizoram side Aizawl FC, Khalid Jamil will descend the north-eastern hills to take over the Kolkata side East Bengal. Khalid performed magic with Aizawl FC by guiding them to the summit of the I-league, whereas East Bengal had a season to forget as their challenge under Aussie coach Trevor Morgan petered out in the final phase of the league.

Khalid Jamil will be eager to prove himself by managing a Kolkata club and ascertain that his incredible run with Aizawl FC was not just a flash in the pan. According to reports, Khalid has signed a deal worth 1.25 crores for two years, which will make him the highest earning Indian coach ever.

There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the upcoming football season, but East Bengal has been very quick in snapping up players and the head coach. A positive sign, as the club, seems to be taking the CFL campaign that will start in August quite seriously. A good performance in the CFL could be a good platform to build upon for the other bigger challenges that are awaiting the team in the next season.

East Bengal roping in the I-league winning coach shows a positive intent from the club, and this also offers some relief for their fans and the supporters of other I-league clubs as well. With news of clubs pulling out and shutting down flying thick and fast, this move by East Bengal might just force some other clubs to rethink their options and might want to test the waters for some more years.

After a lot of drama, East Bengal missed out on their chance to play in the Indian Super League due to differences on certain terms they had to agree to join the league. And with AIFF scheming to hold both the leagues (ISL & I-league) in parallel, there are concerns that I-league clubs will not be able to retain the best players as they will struggle to compete with financially sound ISL franchises. However, Khalid Jamil remained entirely oblivious to these changes as he quipped “Football will remain the same, be it ISL or I-League,” during the unveiling.

East Bengal has not had the best of its time in the top tier of Indian football ever since National Football League was re-branded to I-league in 2007. With a set of an explosive fan base and an equally crazy management to deal with, it would be interesting to see how Khalid Jamil’s foray into Kolkata Football would unfold.

Perhaps, Khalid is the answer for that ever evading I-league trophy!

Tata Trusts U Dream Football announces its partnership with Borussia Dortmund

Tata Trusts, U Dream Football, Partnership, Borussia DortmundMumbai, 11th May 2017: Tata Trusts U Dream Football today announced its ‘Technical’ partnership with Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. The partnership with Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany’s most successful clubs, serial winners in both Germany and Europe will, enhance the quality of the Tata Trusts U Dream Football training programme.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the partnership will give the young footballers enrolled in the programme an opportunity to be trained by the Bundesliga side’s Youth Coaches, as also draw from the club’s world class training facilities.

Known widely for their youth development system, Borussia Dortmund has on its roster, top German stars like the current club captain Marcel Schmelzer, his deputy Marco Reus; world-cup winner Mario Gotze; and Christian Pulisic, one of the club’s young stars.

The teams under Tata Trusts U Dream Football program will train with Borussia Dortmund’s youth teams. The aim is to plan competitive games against each other, which will play a key role in the development of the children.

While the young aspirants are training to become top class footballers, they will also get their first taste of professional European football by watching Borussia Dortmund play live from the ‘Yellow Wall’, the largest free-standing grandstand in Europe with a capacity of 25,000. Known for its exhilarating atmosphere, watching a live Bundesliga game from the ‘Yellow Wall’ will certainly be an inspiring experience for the young footballers.

In 2016, Tata Trusts and U Dream Football partnered to use football as a tool for social development in India. The efforts took root in the North East, the region that contributes nearly 50% footballers to both the men and women’s national teams. 35 of North East India’s best young players were selected and began their training programme in January 2017. Now known as the Tata Trusts U Dream Football, the training programme is based in Bitburg, Germany, where the selected talents spend 10 months of the year training under a team of ranked coaches. Each week, the U15 and U17 sides play competitive games against top-ranked youth sides in the region as well as those in Belgium and Luxembourg. This year, both teams combined have played 20 games, winning 15 and losing only 3 games.

“Tata Trusts has a legacy of supporting various sports events and activities since its existence in 1892.” said R Venkatramanan, Managing Trustee Tata Trusts, “Sports has the potential of developing traits such as leadership, learning, sharing, and caring and of course the will to win.Sport is indeed a wonderful unified force to drive social programmes and change. Tata Trusts is privileged to collaborate with U Dream Football and Borsussia Dortmund in this developmental endeavor. Initiative such as these make us proud and encourage us to contribute every day.” 

Speaking at the event Ronnie Screwvala, Founder of U Sports said, “Today we reiterate our strong association with Borsussia Dortmund at the grassroot level but also about an overall commitment made by Tata Trusts and U Dream Football for basic football development in the country. We found an incredible partner in Tata Trusts which always thinks scale. U Dream appreciates their quick and unrelenting support to our aim of grooming children in football. Our two focus areas are to position sport as a great career option and make India one of the top 20 football-playing countries in the world.”

Christian Diercks, Lead-Youth Programmes, Dortmund BVB, said, “While the children are motivated to take up football, they are also extensively trained in the German schooling system, which gives them a chance to enhance their education and fulfill a realistic dream. There are also plans of bringing in Indian coaches to Dortmund, which is an intense football capital of the world and give them a chance to meet specialists in their field and exchange ideas on football training. I am happy to have this wonderful opportunity of supporting this endeavor in bringing about a long-term development of young kids.”

In addition to football training, the programme also offers academics and languages, laying focus on the holistic development of each child. Enrolled in Germany’s premier international school, they will pursue their academics under an international school board.

With 48 players currently enrolled in the programme, partnering with Borussia Dortmund will aid development of all those under the programme, as the club will provide constant support and directional guidance. Bundesliga clubs typically incubate between 200-300 players in their development programmes and thus it offers these players an opportunity to join Bundesliga sides as well. The goal of the programme is to ensure that

all enrolled players play professional football, by placing them in clubs across Europe, North America and Asia, including India. As the players’ development progresses, Tata Trusts U Dream Football will provide footballers with opportunities for a trial with leading clubs across Europe.

 

 

I-league 2017 – Fixtures and broadcast details

ileague, indianfootball, soccer, league, Aizawl FC, Bengaluru FC, Churchill Brothers, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Chennai City FC, Minerva Punjab FC, DSK Shivajians, Lajong FCI-league 2017 will kickoff on January 7. Here is the fixture list for the first nine rounds and the broadcast details. Ten teams from nine cities will participate in the league this season.

Match
No
Date Time Home   Away Round TV
1 7-Jan- 17 7.00 PM BFC LAJ 1 Ten 2
2 7-Jan-17 4.30 PM KEB AFC 1 Ten 2
3 8-Jan-17 MUM DSK 1
4 8-Jan-17 7.00 PM MB CB 1 Ten 2
5 8-Jan-17 4.30 PM CCFC MPFC 1 Ten 2
6 13-Jan- 17 1.30 PM AFC MPFC 2 Ten 2
7 13-Jan- 17 7.00 PM MB LAJ 2 Ten 2
8 14-Jan- 17 DSK KEB 2
9 14-Jan- 17 7.00 PM BFC CCFC 2 Ten 2
10 15-Jan- 17 4.30 PM CB MUM 2
11 17-Jan- 17 1.30 PM AFC LAJ 3 Ten 2
12 17-Jan- 17 4.30 PM MB MPFC 3 Ten 2
13 17-Jan- 17 7.00 PM DSK CCFC 3 Ten 2
14 18-Jan- 17 7.00 PM BFC MUM 3 Ten 2
15 18-Jan- 17 4.30 PM CB KEB 3 Ten 2
16 21-Jan- 17 LAJ MPFC 4
17 21-Jan- 17 7.00 PM CCFC MB 4 Ten 2
18 21-Jan- 17 4.30 PM DSK CB 4 Ten 2
19 22-Jan- 17 MUM AFC 4
20 22-Jan- 17 KEB BFC 4
21 24-Jan- 17 DSK MB 5
22 27-Jan- 17 CB BFC 5
23 28-Jan- 17 CCFC AFC 5
24 28-Jan- 17 LAJ MUM 5
25 29-Jan- 17 MPFC KEB 5
AFC CUP 31-Jan- 17 COL MB PS
ACL 31-Jan- 17 AL WEHDAT BFC PS
26 1-Feb-17 AFC DSK 6
27 31-Jan-17 LAJ CCFC 6
28 MB BFC 6
29 1-Feb-17 KEB MUM 6
30 1-Feb-17 MPFC CB 6
31 4-Feb-17 MB AFC 7
32 5-Feb-17 DSK BFC 7
33 5-Feb- 17 KEB CCFC 7
34 5-Feb- 17 LAJ CB 7
35 4-Feb- 17 MPFC MUM 7
AFC CUP 7-Feb- 17 MOHUN BAGAN COL
36 10-Feb- 17 AFC CB 8
37 11-Feb- 17 CCFC MUM 8
38 11-Feb- 17 LAJ DSK 8
39 11-Feb- 17 BFC MPFC 8
40 12-Feb- 17 KEB MB 8
41 14-Feb- 17 CCFC CB 9
42 15-Feb- 17 AFC BFC 9
43 15-Feb- 17 MUM MB 9
44 15-Feb- 17 KEB LAJ 9
45 15-Feb- 17 MPFC DSK 9

Legend : BFC : Bengaluru FC, MPFC : Minerva Punjab FC, DSK : DSK Shivajians, KEB : Kingfisher East Bengal, MUM : Mumbai FC, LAJ : Shillong Lajong, AFC : Aizawl FC, CCFC : Chennai City FC, CB : Churchill Brothers, MB : Mohun Bagan

AFC Cup 2016 Final – Know thy opponent : Through the words of an Iraqi Football expert

Air Force Club, JSW, Bengaluru FC, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, AFC Cup, 2016, Doha, Qatar, Sunil Chhetri, Hammadi, Star Sports, Football, Indian Football, Soccer, IraqThe big day is here. It is a momentous occasion for Indian Football as Bengaluru FC takes on Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya or the Air Force Club of Iraq as they are known in the AFC Cup 2016 final. Since there was a dearth of information on today’s opponent, I decided to get in touch with an Iraqi football expert to know more about Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. I asked a few questions to football writer Hassanin Mubarak and here are his replies. Read on!

What’s is Air Force Club’s style of play?

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya are an attacking side playing two forward up-front, with Hamadi Ahmed and the returning Amjad Radhi, one of the most prolific strikers in the Iraqi league in current times who is attempting to regain his old form. The little and large combination of Hamadi and Amjad were once the best two front-pairing in Iraq until Amjad left for Arbil in 2010. The striker wearing the No.40 for Al-Jawiya was top scorer in this tournament in 2012 with 9 goals. Amjad has spent the last couple of seasons in Saudi Arabia and Egypt without much success and while he was Al-Jawiya’s main forward during his last spell at the club, Hamadi has now taken on that mantle with Amjad being the second striker. Basim Qasim also has Emad Muhsin if needed. Al-Jawiya’s goals will depend a lot on the ability of the wide-men to create in the final third, the hopes of victory will rest heavily on the shoulders of Humam Tariq and 15-goal hit man Hamadi Ahmed.

Their Strong points and weakness according to you?

Al-Jawiya relies a great deal on the presence of Hamadi Ahmed, their main goalscorer and attacking threat. The new coach Basim Qasim appointed in the summer has not changed either the style or team formation since taking charge, however, they have proved to be resilient under the former Police Lieutenant and are unbeaten in the first six games under him. Basim Qasim will, however, have to reshuffle the ranks with the absence of center back Samal Saeed and winger Bashar Resan, two key players who will be suspended for the final. Bashar will be a significant loss, with the team balance on the wings with Humam Tariq on the opposite flank interrupted, with both players having the talent to switch flanks throughout matches. While Basim Qasim has a ready-made replacement for Samal Saeed, in Saad Natiq, however the coach does not have that luxury with a replacement for Bashar. One solution would be to start Hulgard Mulla Mohammed, the brother of the retired wing wizard Hawar. He is a different proposition for defenders compared to the pacy and tricky Bashar Resan. Hulgard does not possess the speed he once had but the versatile two-footed attacking midfielder can play on the wings or in central midfield. But the absence of Bashar will be a substantial miss for Al-Jawiya.

Are they going to play the same way in the final or are you expecting a cagey game from them? Who are all the players to watch out?

I expect Al-Jawiya will play their usual game in Doha and go out and score goals. It could be a cagey and cautious final if the game remains goalless. The key players will be Humam Tariq out on the wings and Hamadi Ahmed, they could be the winning formula for Al-Jawiya.

Are you expecting to see a lot of fans in Doha supporting the Air Force club?

There won’t be many Iraqi fans traveling and a majority of the supporting contingent will be expatriates living in the tiny Gulf state.

What’s the talk among the Iraqi football fans about Bengaluru FC?

Little is known about Bengaluru FC among both the Iraqi fans and the Al-Jawiya players but with both teams in a final, the opposition will be respected. 23 years ago Al-Zawraa, one of the most successful clubs in Iraqi football history were humiliated 6-2 by the East Bengal Club so Iraqis will be wary of this very fact.

Follow Hassanin Mubarak on Twitter here.

You can read his extensive preview of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya here.

Muzaffarnagar to Doha – Nishu Kumar’s Incredible Journey

Nishu Kumar, Bengaluru FC, Football, India, AFC Cup, 2016, Soccer, Uttar Pradesh, Defender, left back, Doha, Muzaffarnagar, Indian Football Let’s start off with a question – How many top flight footballers hailing from Uttar Pradesh do you know? Just like me, you can take the help of Google to find the answer. Apart from the sheer joy of supporting a youngster in fulfilling his dreams of becoming a great footballer, Nishu Kumar’s  place of  origin played a great role in me doing a short feature on him.

The Hindi heartland is the region from where we don’t see enough talent popping up in our football scene and Nishu Kumar maybe the sign of great things to come and of untapped potential from the state.

Nishu, Bengaluru FC’s left back started his footballing journey from a small ground across his home in Muzzafarnagar. He played with his friends on the dusty ground. By eighth standard he had made up his mind on staying in a hostel to pursue his studies and had set a target to be achieved – to join Lucknow Sports College. So, when Lucknow Sports College came calling for football trials, Nishu didn’t have to think twice and got selected after the trials. This is when he spotted a newspaper ad about trials at the Chandigarh Football Academy. He had already made up his mind on living in a hostel to continue his studies, so although he did not know much about Chandigarh or the football academy, Nishu set out on a journey that changed his life.

In 2009, Nishu joined CFA, and under the guidance of ex-Indian internationals Harjinder Singh and Tejinder Singh, Nishu honed his skills to perfection. “I started off as a striker in football in my childhood, just like any other youngster. It is in CFA, that I started playing as a defender”, Nishu says with a grin. He was played as a central defender and excelled his position as he appeared in various tournaments for CFA and played the National school games and various age group tournaments for Chandigarh.

After almost four years in CFA, he appeared for Chandigarh in the Sub-junior National Championship for Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy. Even though Chandigarh lost the final to Assam, Nishu’s consistent display for the team was noted by AIFF scouts who were present during the tournament.

In 2013, Nishu left CFA to join the AIFF Regional Academy in Mumbai, and was subsequently drafted in to the AIFF Elite Academy in Goa. Former Indian International Sabir Pasha was the coach in the academy at that time and he slightly adjusted Nishu’s position on the field. Sabir Pasha recommended that he shift to left back and from then on he has been playing in that position with great success.

According to Nishu, “Playing as wing back as opposed to a central defender is much more interesting as it not only involves all facets of defending, but also provides an opportunity to test my attacking skills. Even though it involves a lot of running up and down the pitch, this is a position that I enjoy playing in.”

I have met Nishu a couple of times before I sat down with him for this interview. During our earlier meetings, he literally shied off from talking. Hence, I was curious to know, how come a shy person like Nishu changes to a combative footballer when he takes to the field.  He quipped, “Yes I am a bit shy off the field, but football is an high intensity sport and we have to be utmost serious while playing the game professionally, hence I am always charged up before match to give my maximum best.” After prodding a bit more, he says “Yes, probably when I am on the pitch playing football, I turn to be a different personality,” he says innocently.

Playing football and hoping to cut a professional career in the sport while hailing from a place like Uttar Pradesh where the sport is not very popular would have been quite a dream to accomplish. When asked if he ever imagined playing with stalwarts of Indian football like Sunil Chhetri, Nishu says, “While I was at CFA, I never imagined I would be playing at this level. But after I moved to Mumbai at the AIFF regional academy, I was more confident on where the game could take me.” While at the Elite academy, the AIFF U-19 team played couple of friendlies with Bengaluru FC, as part of their preparation for the Asian Champions Trophy tournament. He recalls how the whole team was so charged up to play against BFC as the team was already making waves in Indian Football and they were the team to beat according to the youngsters in the India U19 team. “We were so elated after the first friendly that I could not even sleep that night as we played against top players like Sunil Chhetri, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rino Anto, John Johnson and others at BFC. But I never expected to get selected here. Later when I got to know that I got selected by BFC, I was so extremely excited.”

Nishu Kumar, Bengaluru FC, Football, India, AFC Cup, 2016, Soccer, Uttar Pradesh, Defender, left back, Doha, Muzaffarnagar, Indian Football Nishu, who is a Chelsea fan idolises John Terry. He has settled in quite well at Bengaluru FC after being signed on by the club in 2015. He has since appeared for some matches in the AFC Cup and I-league for the club. He says the seniors at the club always help him on and off the ground and playing along players like John Johnson is in itself an inspiration to improve and do well on the pitch.

Nishu Kumar, Bengaluru FC, Football, India, AFC Cup, 2016, Soccer, Uttar Pradesh, Defender, left back, Doha, Muzaffarnagar, Indian Football Nishu was signed on by the club when Ashley Westwood was the coach and now they have a  new coach in Albert Roca. When asked about the difference between two coaches, Nishu said, “there is not much of a difference, but yes, both of them have a different approach to the game. Roca insists on playing with the ball and having more possession, but Ashley was about high intensity and used to totally charges us up while preparing for a match.”

It is obvious that Nishu has a long way to go in his career, so when asked about this he said, “This is only a prelude, I know I can do even better and I am trying hard to improve and get better.” He is hoping to make the maximum out of the chances that have come his way this season, and is keen to impress the coach and the fans alike. Just as any other Indian footballer, he dreams of playing for the senior Indian national team someday! Nishu attributes his success to the coaches who have helped him develop and is quick to credit all who have helped him over the years to reach where he is now.

When I was about to wind up the interview, I thought of asking him one last question. “Did anyone from UP football association ever talk to you?” NO, was the answer. This reply was predictable and is a glimpse into what exactly is ailing our football system. But despite these challenges, there are talents like Nishu Kumar who, if provided with the right guidance and platform can excel in the top level. I wished him the best for the finals of the AFC Cup in Doha and we bid good bye!

Fateh Hyderabad AFC ropes in Grassroots Football Guru Tom Byer as Co- Owner; Launches ‘One Child, One Ball” Fateh Hyderabad Grassroots Program

Fateh Hyderabad AFC, Tom Byer, Hyderabad, Grassroots, Football, India, Soccer, Yogesh MauryaFateh Hyderabad A.F.C new co-owner Tom Byer announced “One Child, One Ball Fateh Hyderabad Grassroots” program
HYDERABAD, INDIA, OCTOBER 6, 2016: Fateh Hyderabad AFC announced today a unique grassroots football development initiative, “The One Child, One Ball Program” in collaboration with world renowned grassroots football coach, entrepreneur and author Tom Byer in Hyderabad. Together they will be imparting this program with hundreds of kindergartens and primary schools across the city. Tom Byer alongwith Yogesh Maurya and Fateh Hyderabad will introduce bottom-up approach of developing skilled players, with the aim of Hyderabad to become the model of change for India and hopefully the rest of Asia.
 
Announcing the partnership with Tom Byer, Director T3, Yogesh Maurya said “We are here for the long term development of football.  Tom has crossed the globe sharing his experiences and philosophy of introducing kindergarten boys and girls to ball manipulation.  Technique is the foundation of any football player.  His success in Japan and now China is well documented.  He is being courted by the giants of our game across the world, and I feel blessed and fortunate to have him here.  He is my partner, but first and foremost, my mentor and great friend and shares the passion Aditya and I have to see boys and girls enjoy a love for the ball.” 
 
Among the first to sign up for “The One Child One Ball Program” were Iris Florets Group of Schools. Maurya added, “Iris Florets is very committed to football and sports overall at the pre-school age.  They have mandated play areas at all of their pre-schools to ensure physical development (gross and fine motor skill development) and overall health of the children.  Our philosophies match perfectly.”
 
Internationally well known for his football training programs at grassroots level Tom Byer expressed immense excitement on his collaboration with Fateh Hyderabad AFC. “ Fateh Hyderabad is taking a unqiue approach and I believe is setting a new standard for how football clubs in Asia should approach grassroots development.  The One Child One Ball Program is aimed at educating both parents and children between the ages of 2-6 on the importance of basic ball manipulation skills with a football. We have a comprehensive program of India specific seminars, workshops and events for both the parents and children to develop and love this game passionately. 
 
“I strongly believe India has immense scope to build national level and professional level of football stars in the future. We have seen some tremendous individual performances by Hyderabad’s world class badminton and tennis stars.  It’s a great start and highly inspiring. It all starts with educating parents of young children. ”
 
Tom Byer, 55, is known as the godfather of Japanese Youth Football, where his camps, soccer schools, a segment on a Tokyo television children’s program and a monthly feature in a leading manga have taught basic techniques to future stars like Aya Miyama, a member of Japan’s World Cup champion women’s team, and Manchester United’s midfielder Shinji Kagawa.
 
Tom Byer has now been working in China for five years, and is currently the Head Technical Advisor to the Chinese Ministry of Education, and oversees the Beijing Bureau of Education’s pilot kindergarten football program, and is Adidas Grassroots Football Ambassador in China, and AIA Insurance’s Grassroots Football Ambassador for 18 Asian countries.  He is the only foreigner on the Advisory Board of the Chinese Minsitry of Education as the country seeks to become a dominant global power in the sport.  More recently, Byer, an official Technical Advisor with the Asian Football Confederation, is working with UEFA and the German Bundesliga. 
 
The One Child One Ball program emphasises that the child’s most influential teacher is his/her parent.  “The technical philosophy empowers children so that they can go out and practice on their own — one player, one ball. We believe you don’t need a full-size pitch. You don’t need 10 other players. You don’t need to have a coach with you.  ” Tom said.
 
A brief visual presentation of the program showed that a young child does not need a big field and expert coaches to develop their fine motor and coordination skills at such a young age. All they need is the ball and a small space even in the living room of a house to gain these critical skills.   “Dr. John Ratey of Harvard University wrote the foreward and afterward to my book Football Starts At Home is a renowned psychiatrist whose research has well documented the links between exercise and mental and emotional well being of children.”
 
“India has some 100 million children under the age of 5. That’s 200 million parents.  As Tom always reminds me, Uruguay has a lot less people, and they’ve won the World Cup.  Educate the parents and check back in five years,” declares Maurya.
 
Arshiya Afsar, Co-founder & Executive Director of Iris Florets Schools present the launch conference said “Preschool football training is not just about introducing youngsters to the great game; but it can also have positive effects on their whole life. Whether they need a confidence boost, experience of working as a team or just the opportunity to let go and be free, physical play is the answer. Through this association with Fateh Hyderabad’s Football Grassroots program, iris wants to develop essential skills of the children that can be transferred to their everyday lives. Like – co-ordination, balance and concentration, not to mention boosting of self-confidence, teamwork and essential social skills. The obvious advantage to our children from this program will be gross and fine motor skill development, pencil grip, painless writing, even numeracy and colour identification skills. The Grassroots program fits perfectly with our vision to provide Holistic development to the children of our schools with unique and fun teaching. ”
 
Fateh Hyderabad AFC made its debut in the 2nd Division I-League in the 2015-2016 season. The 2nd Division I-League us the 2nd highest tier of National football in the country. After 1 year of valuable experience Fateh Hyderabad AFC is participating in the 2016-2017 I-League 2nd Division Season with a well prepared team mixed with youth and experience. 

Indian Super League Season 3 Preview : Chennaiyin FC

Here we go with the 2nd preview on Chennayin FC.

Chennaiyin FC coached by Marco Materazzi is the current champions of Indian Super league. Starting from the 1st season, Chennayin FC has a great record in the ISL. In the 1st season, they finished top in the league table and qualified for the playoffs. Materazzi will be hoping to replicate the same feat even this season. However, things will be quite different for Chennayin this season as they will miss out on two crucial players they had for the last two seasons. Marquee player Elano who scored 12 goals for the team in the last two seasons and was pulling strings in the midfield with his deft touches and freekicks will be sorely missed by the team. Same with Stiven Mendoza, the Colombian liver wire who has scored 17 goals for the franchise in the last two seasons has joined Newyork City FC in the MLS. It will have to be seen how the team copes up with these departures.

Another notable thing Chennayin has done prior to this season is that they signed on 5 AIFF academy graduates  – Anirudh Thapa, Prosenjit Chakraborty, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Baoringdao Bodo and Bedashwor Singh. We will have to see if any of these players will find a regular place in the line-up since they are quite young to be blooded in a league where there is so much at stake. However, this is a great gesture from the franchise and the boys  are bound to learn a lot training under Marco and the other senior players in the team.

Now, let’s go ahead and analyze the different departments of the team.

GK: Duwayne Kerr, Karanjith Singh, Pawan Kumar

Duwayne Kerr is a Jamaican goalkeeper, who has played in Norway and Iceland. He is a very dominating big figure in the box. If Marco decides o play an Indian GK, Karanjith with his immense experience will be the choice. Pawan Kumar who has played for Bengaluru FC earlier and was part of Mumbai FC will be definitely an able back up!

Defenders : Abhishek Das (RB),  Bernard Mendy(RB), Dhanachandra Singh (LB), Eder (CD), Elie Sabia (CB), Riise, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Nallapan Mohanraj (RB).

We will mostly see Mendy being partnered with Riise in the middle of the defense, other central defending options are the new signings Eli Sabia, and Eder, who had a stint with Salgaocar in the I-league. Wadoo had a great season for Chennaiyin last time around and he will most probably the pick for RB.  Dhanachandra Singh who was a mainstay for the team in the last season will be the pick for LB.

Mid : Zakker Mundampara, Baljit Sahni, Dhanpal Ganesh, Manuel Blassi, Hans Mulder, Raphael Augusto, Siam Hangal and Thoi Singh

Hans Mulder, the Dutch footballer who gave a good account of himself in the last two editions of ISL for Delhi Dynamos is the new foreign recruit in the mid-field line up. Manuel Blassi and Raphael Augusto were a constant presence in Chennaiyin’s lineup last year, and this year I expect one of them to sit out and Hans Mulder taking that place. The Indian line up with Zakkeer, Dhanpal, Siam Hangal and Thoi Singh looks quite formidable too. However, i feel the midfield line-up esepcially the Indian contigent lacks in creativity and this could pose a serious threat for CFC.

Forwards : Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Davide Succi, Jayesh Rane, Jeje, Dudu, Maurizio Peluso, Uttam Rai.

Now, this is going to be a real problem area for Chennaiyin. As we mentioned earlier, MENDOZA WILL BE MISSED. Instead of him Materazzi has decided to bring in two Italian attackers.  Davide Succi and Maurizio Peloso. Succi is a 34 year old forward who has played for teams like Chievo, Palermo and Bologna, with pretty good conversion rate as well. Maurizio Peluso seems to be an attacker who plays mainly on the wings and has played in the lower divisions of the Italian league. Dudu is the other forward and he doesn’t need any introduction. He has been playing in India for a long time now and is pretty prolific as well. It will have to be seen if these new recruits can fill Mendoza’s shoes. Coming to the Indian contingent, Jeje is the standout name here. He had a very good season with Chennayin FC last year and would be hoping to replicate the same kind of form this season as well. Daniel is a highly rated forward who plays for BFC but he is going to miss some action due to BFC’s AFC Cup commitments. Jayesh Rane who plays for Mumbai FC had a good season with Chennaiyin last time around will be hoping to pitch in with some goals this season. Uttam Rai is a highly rated forward who plays for Dempo Sports Club. When he burst onto the scene, he was quite a sensation and but he did not live up to that hype after that.

On the whole, this team looks pretty decent but as we said, it will have to be really seen if they can replicate the same form they managed in the first two seasons. And I feel, Chennaiyin will miss out on the playoffs this season! Yes, you heard it right! :)

Listen to this preview on Youtube :

Indian Super League Season 3 Preview : Atlético de Kolkata

Indian Super League season 3 is about to start and here we preview the Atlético de Kolkata team for the season! Have a listen and let us know your thoughts!

Aston Villa to open academy in India

Aston Villa, Football, Soccer, India, Government, artificial turf, academy, grass roots, indian super league, Vijay Goel, Prakesh JavedekarAston Villa’s new owner Tony Xia was in India, meeting government officials to discuss the possibility of setting up an academy and engage with Indian Super League clubs.

Yesterday, the club announced their plans to set up an academy and seek opportunities to tie-up with Indian Super league clubs. The club website said after meeting with Minister of Sports Vijay Goel and the Minister of Education Prakesh Javedekar, Aston Villa will be appointed as an advisor on football. The sport is a part of the national curriculum for Indian state schools.

Villa’s new academy will come up in New Delhi on a property provided by the Municipal Council. The new academy will have state-of-the-art facilities, including an artificial turf.

The report also mentions about a possible tie-up with an Indian Super League side.

Aston Villa Chairman Tony Xia was quoted as saying :

“Aston Villa Football Club, one of the most successful football clubs in the history of English football, plans to expand globally and India is one of the countries where Aston Villa not only wants to have an Indian Super League club but also open football academies all over India!”

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