There’s been so much action in the Hero U15 Youth League over the last couple of weeks that we’ve barely been able to keep pace with the developments! Here’s a quick summary of the results from weeks 6 and 7 from around the country:
In fantastic news for grassroots football in Mumbai, the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) and, the city’s only I-League club, Mumbai FC, have come together to launch the Masters League to give children across the country’s commercial capital an opportunity to showcase their talent. To be played on weekends from January 16, 2016 in a league + knockout format, the league is open to boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 14 years.
This weekend, the U15 Youth League saw 8 matches being played. But before we take a look at what happened over Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, let’s quickly recap the Goa Zone’s (Group C) last Monday and Tuesday matches. Last Monday, Dempo Sports Club U15 played host to Salgaocar FC U15. The match started off on an interesting note when Dempo’s Aaron S. Alvarez was shown a yellow card in the 20th minute. Nine minutes later, their opponents faced the same fate, when Salgaocar’s Riston Colaco was also given a yellow by the ref. Both teams were unable to score, and the match ended in a goalless draw. On Tuesday evening, Sporting Clube de Goa U15 took on SAI-Goa U15 at the Don Bosco Ground. Things got interesting just before the half time whistle, when the ref showed SAI-Goa’s TH London a yellow. Early on in the second half, Sporting Clube de Goa’s Sahil Sunil Halankar netted the ball off a pass from Desmond Fernandes in the 51st minute. SAI-Goa was unable to recover from the goal against them, and the match ended 1-0 in favour of their opponents.
Contributed by Maxon Sequeira
Rural Development Trust’s (RDT) Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) could still hear blissful echoes of the 2015 Andhra Pradesh Junior Women’s Hockey State Championship from the preceding weekend. Women’s sport in Anantapur got another boost as the Anantapur Football League (AFL) 2015 officials decided to start the first ever Anantapur Football League for Girls towards the end of the first leg of the 2015 AFL.
The AFL 2015 officials organized a meeting with all the Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) mandals to finalize guidelines and rules for the Girls AFL that shall kick off its inaugural season towards the end of this year. The ASA, through this meeting also assessed each mandal’s contribution towards the AFL, in terms of participants and officials. This would also ascertain the way ahead for the Girls AFL.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Mohammed Aavesh Raheel may be small-made, but that doesn’t stop him from dreaming big. The 14-year old football player was one of the few making waves at the first weekend of the 7th edition of the Queens Park Rangers (QPR) South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger (SMJSC) last month.
He plays in a number of positions, from forward to goalie, and plays his heart out no matter where he is on the pitch. Although he only started playing football a year ago, Aavesh has a big dream – to play for the Indian national football team! But that isn’t all he wants to do, he wants to follow his passion only after completing his education and getting good grades. We wish Aavesh all the best, and hope that he continues to nurture his passion for football!
The Phoenix Sports & Leisure Group (PSL) India has been working to develop grassroots football in India over the last few years. They have set up organisations like Soccer Connections and Just For Kicks (JFK), where they coach children in football, talent development, and life skills. While JFK is focused predominantly on transforming education in low-income schools by introducing football to them, Soccer Connections aims to provide focused, fun, and family-oriented football training to children under the age of 12. They conduct their training sessions in affiliated schools, or on professional playing grounds.