The first Saturday and Sunday of the New Year turned out to be more than just a training weekend for the Pune FC Soccer School kids.
While the weekend was 2016’s first, Pune Football Club decided to kick off the year with a dash of competition and decided to conduct a first-of-a-kind Intra-Soccer School Tournament at their Training Pitches in Mamurdi.
The aim to have this competition was simple: bring all kids training at various Pune FC Soccer Schools’ centres across Pune together via the ‘excuse’ of a tournament, which in turn also facilitated a meet-and-greet situation for all and importantly exercise themselves on the pitches that launched the club into being the best at Grassroots Development in India.
Though the competition was Intra-Soccer School, the kids showed serious efforts to win. With several anxious parents dotting the sidelines of the competitive areas, the weekend was a long yearned desire to see their kids compete come true.
Adding up to the enthusiasm was the fact that Schools were to reopen after a week-long Christmas break, and what better way than to start your year with football?
Keeping the holiday spirit alive, Pune FC planned a fun tournament. And more than 90 kids (the figure could have been 50-odd more as many were on vacation) representing 16 different teams in three different age groups (Under-8, Under-10, Under-13) showcased themselves over two days.
The idea was to not just to get into competitive action, but also to gel with new teammates (their respective coaches played a hand in selecting teams) and implement all lessons/ skills they picked up while learning to play ‘The Pune FC Way’.
The pitches for these small-sided games were as per age-group and the day began with Soccer School Coaches explaining the value of teamwork to the kids before they readied to play this ‘unique tournament’.
While explaining the basic rules, the Coaches also highlighted the importance of playing competitively against fellow Soccer School players as well as playing the game in the right spirit, following which, five-a-side teams were sorted, groups were formed and it was time for action to unfold.
What followed was high intensity action on every corner of the field. With no substitutes, each kid received a significant amount of game time, as designed in the format, while giving his hundred per cent on the field and also looking to implement things learned during regular sessions of the Soccer Schools. Cheering parents on the sidelines was a boost of energy in itself!
At the end of two fun-filled days, Team Purple (Freekick-Pune FC Soccer School) emerged victorious in the Under-8 section beating opponents Team Red (Freekick-Pune FC Soccer School) 3-2 in a ‘Best of Five’ series. The five included three football matches and two fun games focussing on teamwork.
In the Under-10 section, four teams battled hard before Team Mamurdi ‘A’ and Team Mamurdi ‘B’ topped the group in a round-robin format. After a hard fought final, Team Mamurdi ‘B’ finally emerged victorious edging their opponents 1-0 in a thrilling penalty shootout.
Meanwhile, in the Under-13 section, ten teams were divided into three groups. After a group stage, four teams made it to the semis before Team Mamurdi ‘A’ and Team Mamurdi ‘E’ booked their places in the big final. While the final was tense affair, Team Mamurdi ‘A’ kept their composure and clinched the big final with a thrilling come-from-behind 2-1 win.
The day ended with the winning and runners up teams receiving medals for their efforts which also served as reason to remind all to keeping putting their best foot forward as they learn to achieve their stepping slowing towards their dream of playing the game at the highest level.
Team Red: Dev Turakhia, Arnav Sonawane, Siddharth Mantri, Ronak Buch
Team Purple: Aayush Deshmukh, Abhay Nijamkar, Avvya Gupta, Aarav Mandal, Aditya Goel
#1 (Match) – Purple: 3 (Aayush Deshmukh 3) b Red: 0
#2 (Penalty Shootout) - Red: 1 (Dev Turakhia) b Purple: 0
#3 (Match) - Purple: 3 (Aayush Deshmukh 3) b Red: 0
#4 (Relay Race) – Red b Purple
#5 (Match) - Purple: 6 (Aayush Deshmukh 3, Abhay Nijamkar 2, Aarav Mandal) b Red: 3 (Dev Turakhia 2, Arnav Sonawane)
FINAL SCORE – Purple: 3 b Red: 2
Team Freekick: Ayush Khatanhar, Ahaan Dekhane, Anshul Hinge, Aaron Aigner
Team Mamurdi ‘A’: Aditya Raikar, Yashank Rawat, Aarav Paul, Abhishek Rawat, Ved Sanyal
Team Mamurdi ‘B’: Yash Salunke, Vedang Pingale, Arnav Modhave, Anmol Tapalshkar, Chaitanya Sonawane
Team Mamurdi ‘C’: Aryan Suryawanshi, Mayank Kene, Paritosh Walimbe, Russell Pillay
#1 – Freekick: 1 (Ahaan Dekhane) drew with Mamurdi ‘A’: 1 (Aditya Raikar)
#2 – Mamurdi ‘B’: 3 (Chaitanya Sonawane, Vedant Pingle 2) b Mamurdi ‘C’: 0
#3 – Mamurdi ‘A’: 1 (Aditya Raikar) b Mamurdi ‘B’: 0
#4 – Freekick: 1 (Ahaan Dekhane) b Mamurdi ‘C’: 0
#5 - Mamurdi ‘B’: 1 (Chaitanya Sonawane) b Freekick: 0
#6 – Mamurdi ‘A’: 0 drew with Mamurdi ‘C’: 0
Mamurdi ‘B’: 0 (2) (Yash Salunke, Chaitanya Sonawane) b Mamurdi ‘A’: 0 (1) (Abhishek Rawat) via tie-breaker
Team Mamurdi ‘A’: Varad Yadav, Shubham, Pradyun Ramesh, Suhas Janjire, Snehal Kurade, Rishab Shindore (Freekick Student)
Team Mamurdi ‘B’: Yash Muthana, Atharva Raikar, Tarun Datey, Aryan Dixit, Tabish Sundke
Team Mamurdi ‘C’: Anish Pingale, Tanay Kapoor, Yash Dhumal, Abhinav Abraham, Siddharth Singh
Team Mamurdi ‘D’: Mihir Sawai, Arjun Menon, Varun Bhilare, Ashwin Nair, Soham, Sarang Sohani (Freekick Student)
Team Mamurdi ‘E’: Chaitanyaa Advani, Rachit Singh, Adit Kulkarni, Vignesh Deshpande, Malhar Shivtade (Freekick Student)
Team SKF ‘A’: Shahidhussain Shaikh, Narayan Giri, Akib Ansari, Rahul Kharat, Rohit Shelar
Team SKF ‘B’: Imran Shaikh, Ambarish Kamnale, Aniket Gunjal, Harshad Mutkule, Arbaaz Mujawar
Team SKF ‘C’: Gaurishankar Tongale, Rohit Bansode, Arjun Bhalerao, Akhlakh Ansari, Pratik Pandit
Team SKF ‘D’: Ahmed Shaikh, Rushikesh Chougule, Saifullah Khan, Suraj Shingare, Bipin Sahani
Team Orbis: Ravi Kumar, Prabhash Gampa, Amit Pawar, Ayyub Ali, Hitesh Yadav
Group A: (Mamurdi ‘A’, Orbis, SKF ‘A’)
#1 – SKF ‘A’: 4 (Narayan Giri 2, Rahul Kharat, Rohit Shelar) b Orbis: 2 (Hitesh Yadav 2)
#2 – Mamurdi ‘A’: 3 b SKF ‘A’: 1 (Akib Ansari)
#3 – Mamurdi ‘A’: 2 b Orbis: 0
Group B: (Mamurdi ‘B’, Mamurdi ‘E’, SKF ‘C’, SKF ‘D’)
#1 – Mamurdi ‘B’: 3 (Atharva Raikar 2, Aryan Dixit) b SKF ‘C’: 0
#2 – Mamurdi ‘E’: 10 (Chaitanyaa Advani 6, Rachit Singh 4) b SKF ‘D’: 0
#3 – Mamurdi ‘E’: 2 (Chaitanyaa Advani, Rachit Singh) b SKF ‘C’: 1 (Pratik Pandit)
#4 – Mamurdi ‘B’: 4 (Atharva Raikar 3) b SKF ‘D’: 1 (Tabish Sundke)
#5 – SKF ‘C’: 5 (Akhlak Ansari 3, Pratik Pandit 2) drew with SKF ‘D’: 5 (Saifullah Khan 3, Hrishikesh Chougule 2)
#6 – Mamurdi ‘B’: 1 (Atharva Raikar) b Mamurdi ‘E’: 0
Group C: (Mamurdi ‘C’, Mamurdi ‘D’, SKF ‘B’)
#1 – Mamurdi ‘D’: 3 (Mihir Sawai 3) b SKF ‘B’: 0
#2 – Mamurdi ‘C’: 4 (Anish Pingale 2, Tanay Kapoor 2) b Mamurdi ‘D’: 0
#3 – Mamurdi ‘C’: 3 (Anish Pingale, Tanay Kapoor, Siddhant Bhatia) b SKF ‘B’: 0
#1 – Mamurdi ‘E’: 2 (Adit Kulkarni, Chaitanyaa Advani) b Mamurdi ‘C’: 0
#2 – Mamurdi ‘A’: 2 (Varad Yadav, Pradyun Ramesh) b Mamurdi ‘B’: 0
Mamurdi ‘A’: 2 (Varad Yadav, Pradyun Ramesh) b Mamurdi ‘E’: 1 (Chaitanyaa Advani)