An event fuelled week for the senior team, under-16 and the Reserves. Your weekly #AmchiMumbai update is here.
Aayushman Narayan, Mumbai FC Media (SportzDose)
No club in the world is complete without a comprehensive youth development programme. Indeed its one of the hallmarks of a well-run football club. The benefits are obvious too, a continuous stream of talent to refurbish the youth teams. The word youth is subjective, it brings into mind young boys and girls above grade 6 or 7, however top level football requires game knowledge and intelligence inculcated into a young mind as soon as he actively begins to think, namely from the ages of 6 and upwards. The mission statement and vision of the Mumbai football academy specifies that fact specifically.
The coaching programme of the academy commenced on Saturday, the 11th of February for the kids who registered and underwent trials. The Sports complex at Andheri does boast admirable facilities, and to top it up the club has been able to supplement it with qualified coaches. The Coach is the fundamental factor for a footballer’s development and understanding. Standing on the sidelines, Coach Taposh Ghosh, who also heads Mumbai FC’s successful U14 squad remarks “ Kids need to understand the game, as to why they make a move. No one is ‘born’ to play, though of course talent is inherited, but nurturing is the key. Football intelligence is developed from a young age, and we are very happy with the first batch of kids. Professionalism must be exhibited right at the base level, and we’ll see the results bear fruit over the long term, it’s a process”.
On the competition front, the reserve team aim to make an assault on the Nadkarni Cup hosted at RCF Grounds, Chembur. The MDFA event kicked off on 7th February, and will feature 16 teams in an all-out knockout format. Mumbai FC won the cup last year, and the cup defence began with an astute performance against Central Bank, the score line of victory, 2-0 sounding pretty modest. Mumbai FC is off to the quarterfinals which take place in two days time. It’s the same venue where the U14s were victorious a few months ago, winning the RCF Cup. That day still inspires memories.
Head of Youth Development, Coach Kundan Chandra was with the U16 squad, who headed off to the district of Parbhani, to play in the Syed Khaled All India Football Tournament. The team swept past Zamil Sporting Hingoli in the Round of 32 stage by three goals to zero, Zimik Khangampam grabbing a hattrick. The last 16 tie against Kutubpura Aurangabad had the makings of a difficult match, but the boys made light of it, winning 2-0, with goals from Essa Momin and Zimik Khangampam. The quarter final against Young Eleven Star Aurangabad could not be decided in normal time, penalties proving the only way out. Luck frowned its face however in the tie breaker, as the side lost 4-5 on penalties. A cruel way to loose, lessons learnt nonetheless.
After a packed away schedule, it was time for the senior team to return home. A succession of home games against Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC await in the course of four days. Underneath the steely demeanor of professionalism, the wily minds of the players will be at work, hoping to make the full use of familiar territory. Off we go to the Cooperage.