Friday, July 15, 2016

Hubli boy Chinta joins Mohun Bagan

Pic: Shubhagata Chandra  

It has been a while the Kolkata clubs have had any Bangalore representation. The supply line from the breeding ground of Indian Football to the big clubs of the Mecca of Indian Football has been reduced. Satish Kumar in 2010-11, Murali J in 2011-12 were the last in list, and Dada Nabeel was on trial a few seasons back. 

The latest addition is Hubli-boy Chinta Chandrashekar Rao. A side back, a TFA product, who had earlier turned out for United Sports and Sporting Clube de Goa in the I-League. 

Chinta had a very low last season, had no club for most of the time. He signed for Viva Chennai, and then occasionally turned for Super Division team, Students Union in Bangalore league. 

Chinta called up Sanjay Sen, his former coach in United Sports, who in turn told him to wait until he got a call from the club in two weeks. Interestingly, Sen was also the assistant coach of the Junior National team during Chinta’s junior days. 
Chinta’s performance will be evaluated in Kolkata Football League, only then he’ll be registered in I-League. 

Speaking to, Chinta sounded ecstatic, “I have kept myself fit last year, I have to play well, and by god’s grace I will be able to prove myself!”

Thursday, July 14, 2016

[POSTER] TAL introduces Division 3, kick-off on October

Bengaluru FC announces plans for residential academy, to scout talent across country

Bengaluru FC Media 

JSW Bengaluru FC, on Wednesday, revealed its plans of a full-fledged residential academy at the JSW Township in Vijayanagar, Bellary, at a press conference addressed by club COO Mustafa Ghouse, CTO Mandar Tamhane and new Head of Youth Development John Kila at the club offices at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

The club will conduct trials in five different locations across the country – Bengaluru, Kerala, Mizoram, Punjab and Chandigarh – in the Under-16 (January 2000 to December 2003) and Under-18 (January 1998 to December 1999) age categories. The shortlisted players will then be put through a final round of trials in Bengaluru after which the selected players will relocate to the academy in Bellary.

The Bengaluru leg of trials will be held from July 23 to July 30 at the Bangalore Football Stadium and interested players can register and obtain further information on the official BFC website, or on the club’s social media platforms. The dates of trials at the other venues will be announced shortly.

The fully-funded youth development program, which will be overseen by Kila, will provide for the players’ accommodation, education and nutrition.

“Youth Development has always been a part of the club’s philosophy and a residential academy is something we’ve wanted to put in place for quite a while now. John (Kila) comes with a rich experience of having implemented youth programs at various clubs and we are sure that under his guidance, our youngsters will progress through the ranks and make it to the club’s first team and in time, the Indian National Football Team as well,” said Ghouse.

With licensed coaches, physiotherapists, professionals in strength and conditioning and sports science, the BFC Academy will work in tandem with the club’s first team. With regards to the infrastructure, the facility comprises a full-length sand-based football pitch equipped with floodlights, a gymnasium and a swimming pool.

Kila, meanwhile, expressed his excitement at the project. “It is a privilege to be a part of this club as we are looking to put our youth in the first team, which I am very excited about. The BFC residential academy and talent hunt is a fantastic project and I am looking forward to working with the coaches and players,” said Kila. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Former Barca assistant Albert Roca to coach Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC Media 

Bengaluru FC announced the appointment of Albert Roca as the club’s new coach. The 53-year-old Spaniard has signed a two-year deal that keeps him with the Blues till the end of the 2017-18 season.

Roca brings with him a wealth of coaching experience at the highest level having served as an assistant to Frank Rijkaard for five seasons at Barcelona (2003-2008) during which the Catalans won the Champions League once, the La Liga twice and the Spanish Super Cup twice before following the Dutchman in the same role to Turkish club Galatasaray (2009-2010) and finally the Saudi Arabian national team (2011-2013). Roca’s last job was as manager of the El Salvador national team where he was in charge for a year.

As a player, Roca’s most notable stints were with Real Zaragoza and CE Sabadell FC in the La Liga apart from shifts with a number of clubs in the second division.

“We are very excited to announce Albert Roca as the new coach of Bengaluru FC. He is, what I would call, a major signing at the club.  Albert has been with some of the best clubs in Europe as well as spent time in developing countries because of which he will have a great sense of the challenges India would bring,” said Parth Jindal, CEO, Bengaluru FC.

“We have had a very successful three years and Albert is only going to compound the efforts we have been making. He has also done some commendable work with young players in his career and that is absolutely in line with the philosophy of BFC where we are trying to develop players into stellar talent for the future,” he added.

Roca, a resident of Grannolers in Catalonia near Barcelona, said he was excited at the prospect of joining the Blues and was confident about playing the kind of football that the club and the supporters would be proud of.

“I’m very satisfied to have signed with Bengaluru FC. They are the champions of India, have fantastic supporters and most importantly, have a great support system and a management that is always hands on and wants to stay at the top. I want to assure our supporters that we will always give it our best. I want the supporters to be happy about the way we play,” said Roca.

Roca’s first game in charge will be the AFC Cup quarterfinal against Singapore side Tampines Rovers in September; a game he reckons will be a tough challenge. “The AFC Cup quarterfinal is definitely going to be a big challenge but we will do our best to get a good result and make the semis,” he said.

The Blues coach is expected to land in Bengaluru in the fourth week of July.

Monday, June 20, 2016

John Johnson signs two-year deal, to stay with Bengaluru till 2017-18 season

Bengaluru FC Media

Bengaluru FC have signed defensive mainstay John Johnson on a new two-year deal that keeps with the champions of India till the end of the 2017-18 season, the club announced on Monday.

Johnson had signed with the Blues since the club’s inception before going on to spend three seasons during which he won two I-League titles and one Federation Cup crown with BFC. He was named the League’s ‘Best Defender’ for the 2015-16 last month as the Blues put behind the disappointment of being edged out by Mohun Bagan in the 2014-15 season at the death to bring back the title to Bengaluru.

“John Johnson has been immense for the club and has been the kind of leader who doesn’t need an armband. We are at a very crucial phase at the club and getting him on board for another two seasons puts us in a very good position. He’s always inspiring the lads on the pitch and is a great character to have in the dressing room, needless to say he’s a fan favourite,” said Mustafa Ghouse, COO, Bengaluru FC.

Ever since his first season in India, Johnson has been on the radar of a fair number of clubs but the No.6 said signing a new deal with the Blues was one of the easier choices he’s made. “I’m delighted to have signed a new contract. Bengaluru FC is home to me. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the three seasons that I’ve spent here and I still feel I have a lot more to offer and achieve with this team. I’ve personally enjoyed great support from the fans and it’s nice to know I will be seeing them again. It’s going to be an important season ahead and I’m already looking forward to it,” said Johnson.