Month: November 2015 (page 1 of 2)

U15 Youth League – Week 5 Preview

Tata Football Academy Jamshedpur

Tata Football Academy cadets in training

We’re now well into the Hero Under-15 Youth League for Groups A & B. Having started off without any known or recognised favourites a little over a month ago, the stronger teams are gradually putting some distance between themselves and the chasing pack.

One of the biggest surprises, however, has been the underwhelming performances of an institution that has prided itself in producing India’s best footballers – Tata Football Academy. Languishing at the bottom of Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A), with one draw and three losses from their four outings, it’s not the results that have been disappointing, it’s the performances too. In the four games played, TFA haven’t yet managed to score and, worse still, have allowed 11 goals in. True, these are still very young boys with a lot of football to be played in their careers, but from a development perspective, TFA seem to have their work cut out.

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Eloquence is Invaluable

There are many roles that coaches play in the development of footballers and there are a fair few qualities that coaches need to be successful. But there are some attributes that truly separate the best from the rest, and one such attribute is eloquence.

The ability to pick the right words, say them in the right way, deliver them at the right time, and, most importantly, to the right people sets a coach apart. There are times when players need a bit of tough lovin’, others when we need to go easy on the lads and still others when they need a bit of fun! Knowing what to say, when to say it, how to say it and whom to say it to makes all the difference.

One man who was capably eloquent was Sir Alex Ferguson. There’s a brilliant story that popped up on Reddit about how the great man, during his time at Aberdeen FC, disciplined the squad in a way that only he could.

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U15 Youth League Week 4: Dempo Start on a High

GFI U15 Youth League - Week 4

It’s been 4 weeks since the Hero Under-15 Youth League kicked-off, and the competition is really heating up! The Goa Zone (Group C) started off the week’s proceedings, when Dempo Sports Club U15 handed Sporting Club de Goa U15 a 5-0 hammering on Tuesday. Dempo were quick to start, scoring as early as the 9th minute. Baggio Fernandes then netted the ball in the 30th minute again, giving Dempo a 2-0 lead before half time. In the second half, Aaron Alvarez fired a brace, and assisted a third to give Dempo a massive 5-0 victory.

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Football Done Differently

SD Eibar Celebrations

Image Credit: SD Eibar Website

As the spotlight returns to European leagues and the much-awaited El Clasico tonight, spare a thought for some of the ‘lesser’ clubs who play the role of eternal bridesmaids while the superpowers grab the dollars and headlines. Today, we’re going to spend some time understanding how Sociedad Deportiva Eibar or simply, SD Eibar, a football club from a town of 27,000 people, roughly the population of all the buildings on Marine Drive in Mumbai, became La Liga‘s smallest club and captured the imagination of football fans all over the world along the way.

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U15 Youth League – Week 4 Preview

Mumbai FC U15 in Action

Image Credit: Mumbai FC Facebook Page

The Hero U15 Youth League is well underway, and the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A) is ready to kick-off this weekend’s matches. Mohun Bagan AC U15 will host East Bengal FC U15 at 2:00 p.m. today. This match is sure to be a close one. Will Mohun Bagan AC be able to claim their 2nd win? Or will East Bengal FC fight hard for their 1st victory of the season?

On Saturday evening, the Maharashtra Zone (Group B) will see Kenkre FC U15 lock horns with Steadfast Mumbai Rush SC U15 at the Cooperage ground in Mumbai. Both teams are currently fighting for their first win, and this match could be a game changer for either Mumbai team.

Other fixtures lined up this weekend in the U15 Youth League are:

Insights From Children: On Punishment

As coaches & parents of incredibly energetic, dynamic and active children, patience is the one attribute we cannot leave behind at home before stepping on to the training ground. There are, however, those odd days when we are really at the ends of our tether – it could be tensions from home or work or just an ‘off’ day when we’re ‘not up to it’. Even the best have them. Those are the times when we, as educators and mentors, are most prone to yelling or punishing the kids. It takes a lot of control to hold oneself back, not scream and do the ‘right’ thing. The lesson for us is clear – and it’s not like we don’t know – screaming & punishments are mostly counter-productive and useless.

But children have a way with words and an ability to drive home the message in the most unique way. This is one fantastic example:

:) Have a great day!

Written with inputs from Samira Kumar.

Dempo Sports Club – Giving Everybody a Chance

Dempo Sports Club LogoDempo Sports Club is an institution that stands for passion, strength and will. They are passionate about constantly trying to change the definition of football in India, and lived up to their beliefs when they conducted an outreach program with the special children of Sanjay School in Mapusa. The Duler Stadium hosted Dempo’s youth development team, as well as 100 boys and girls of the school in October this year. The club’s Technical Director, Katz Naidoo is of the firm belief that football is for everybody, and is thrilled that the club’s outreach initiative gives every child an opportunity to play the sport.

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U15 Youth League Week 3: Pune FC & Mohammedans Move Top

With the long Diwali weekend on, this Friday saw two Hero Under-15 Youth League matches being played. In the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A), Mohun Bagan AC U15 met SAI-East U15 on Friday afternoon at the Mohun Bagan ground. The hosts were put on the defensive when SAI-East’s Israfil Dewan netted the ball just before half time. He scored again in the second half, giving them a lead of 2-0. A late goal in the 79th minute by Mohun Bagan’s Kartick Mondal, however, was not enough for the team and the hosts ended up with a 2-1 loss. At the Cooperage ground on Friday evening, the Maharashtra Zone (Group B) saw an exciting match between Mumbai FC U15 and PIFA Sports U15. Goals by Clivert Millar and Kamran Ansari in the 22nd and 82nd minute respectively gave Mumbai FC a comfortable win over their local rivals.

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A New Year & New Start

Diwali is over and the new year has begun. It’s time for us to renew our commitment to the game, the kids, parents and the principles that drive us forward every day! Happy Monday Everybody! #AttackTheWeek

GFI Commitment

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U15 Youth League – Week 3 Preview

U15 Youth League - Mumbai FC

Image Credit: Mumbai FC

With a long week of Diwali holidays for schools around the country, we have a couple of weekday kick-offs in the Hero U15 Youth League. Mohun Bagan AC U15 started the proceedings in the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A) this afternoon with a game against SAI-East U15. Playing at home, the young Mariners succumbed to an Ishrafil brace before Kartick Mondal pulled one back for the hosts. Later this evening, we will see the Maharashtra Zone (Group B) in action with Mumbai FC U15 hosting PIFA Sport U15 at Cooperage in what promises to be a closely fought encounter between the traditional Mumbai rivals.

Other fixtures lined up this weekend in the U15 Youth League are:

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