Friday, August 20, 2010

HAL to finalize team by next Tuesday


When the majority of the I-League division 1 teams are loaded with pre-season schedule, Garden City Soccer Stars just dropped in to the HAL ground to see the where the new entrants for this schedule are up to.

Mainly because of the absolute aloofness from the team management, even after making several attempts to know the team composition.

HAL was playing a practice match with an Army team. 2 sets of team playing in each half, mainly trying to evaluate the players on trial.

The player’s lot mainly comprising of locals and outstation players from Kerala were seen in action. Also seen were former Mohun Bagan player James Singh jr. and Mohammedan Sporting player Zaheer Abbas.

James played last season for Air India and Zaheer Abbas is making a comeback after sitting the entire last season due to back injury.

While talking about the players on trial, Coach Muralidharan rued missing couple players who impressed him during the trial, “We almost closed on TFA graduate Henry Gangte and East Bengal player Malsawkima and was going to offer them when they got a call from Mumbai FC with a better package in terms of money.”

“We still have few more days, I’ve few players in my mind, and will finalize by next Tuesday.” said the coach.

Being asked about the delay in selection when most of the teams have already formed their squad and the pool of quality players available for selection are less, coach simply acknowledged, “We’ve certain limitations for being a public sector enterprise, money influx is less, and decision takes long time.”


“We can’t afford to hire expensive players, we will be taking BEML’s Nigerian striker Hamza and might do away with one of our last year’s overseas player. We’re scouting PAO (players of Asian Origin) in Australia.” 

Setting formidable side for a new entrant will always be a challenge at the top level, however, proper planning could have optimized the situation. HAL got promoted in the I-League division 1 in May 24. Almost 3 months gone and yet they are unable to put up a team.

With several national-level tournaments coming up in a month’s time and marathon I-league in less than 3 months, HAL has task cut out.