Pune FC set yet another landmark when the first-batch of Peninsula Pune Football Club Academy (PPFCA) graduated during the Convocation Ceremony held in Pune.
The day celebrated the pass out of 20 cadets who completed PPFCA’s two-year (July 2011 to June 2013) residential programme. Five players, meanwhile, have been retained for the next batch.
On a night filled with emotion and testimonies revolving around the time spent by both staff and players respectively, PPFCA Head of Youth Development Ranjan Chowdhury reminded all graduates they were ‘Pune FC Ambassadors’.
The message for the pass-out cadets was simple: hard work in a man’s world begins after the ceremony. Only performance and performance only will take forward the good work that every individual diligently abided to when at PPFCA.
PPFCA’s first batch had the distinction to making Indian football history by winning the newly-formulated Under-20 I-League twice in a row. The first title at Kalyani (2011-12), in fact, was in PPFCA’s maiden year, while the second at Jamshedpur (2012-13) proved how winning had become a habit at the academy.
Apart from wining the India’s premier youth title, PPFCA time and again remained a regular supply-line in players going on to support district, state and National teams in their respective campaigns.
Chowdhury hoped that once out in the open all graduates show that development at PPFCA was not just restricted to the sport, but also in several other facet of life.
Preferring not to single out any cadet individually, Chowdhury was confident that a few outstanding boys have been developed and will soon be seen in the future.
Having systematically proven success, Chowdhury maintained that the ultimate aim, formulated by PPFCA from its outset, is and will be to support Indian football through extensive grassroot and youth development programmes.
Each of the 20 cadets was awarded a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ with a strong message of maintain their respective career orientation in clubs they represent in future.
For the five retained cadets, who exercised their stay in ‘protected zone’, the test will be when they pace themselves in the open group with the second batch of cadets.
Among the others officials present were; Youth Manager Amit Dharap, Under-19 Coach Gift Raikhan, Physio Lino Sequeira, Media Manager Micky Aigner.
GRADUATING CADETS: 1st BATCH
Rajiv Miryala, Sarif Molla; Gobin Singh, Salam Ranjan Singh, Surjit Singh, N James Singh, Anuj Negi, Riyan Yadgiri; Janak Kumal, Narendra Vakhare, Rugved Yeole, Abung Meetei, Lalrimawma Rintea, G Kartik, R Shivram, F Lalrempuia, Nikhil Kadam; Thongkhosim Haokip, William Lalnunfela, Deepak Kumar.
PPFCA 1st BATCH ACHIEVEMENTS
SEASON 1: 2011-12
- Winner – Under-20 I-League, Kalyani, West Bengal
– Winner – All India Saras Gold Cup Invitation, Betul, Madhya Pradesh
– Semifinalist – 10th Aha Gold Cup International-Invitational tournament, Nepal
SEASON 2: 2012-13
- Winner – Under-20 I-League, Jamshedpur
– Winner – Late Prakash Sonkar All India Gold Cup, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
- Runners-Up – 8th Kedari Redekar United Cup All-India, Gadhinglaj, Kolhapur.
– Santosh Trophy (4 players); India Under-19 camper (3 players)
– Promoted to Pune FC Senior Squad in 2012-13 (3 players)
– Cadets graduating into Pune FC Senior squad 2013-14 (10 players)
I really ought to thank every single official and the management to give us a wonderful time at PPFCA. We’ve all learnt a lot and will miss you all… particularly my closest Sarif Molla.
- Riyan Yadgiri, Defender
Time flies and how… It was like getting used to a family. I’ll miss every single individual.
– Salam Ranjan Singh, Central Defender
We’ve learnt a lot and achieved a lot. Thank you Pune FC to lead us this far.
– Abung Meetei, Central Midfielder
In good times and bad times we’ve stood together. I’ll miss ‘Who are we … Pune FC.’
– Anuj Negi, Defender