Premier India Football Academy set up a Senior division MDFA football team in the Mumbai Football League this year, called the PIFA-Colaba Youngstar F.C.
The team made up of local boys living around Colaba area of Mumbai and hence the team name PIFA- Colaba Youngstar FC. It was managed by Mr Nirvan Shah & Mr Sudhakar Rane. And funded by PIFA.
The team was coached by Mr Nirvan Shah, Director of PIFA also an FA trained coach. This was his 3rd successful stint as manager having won the Bombay Gymkhana Cup 9 a side tournament for KICKBUTT F.C. a few months ago. And for Team-PIFA, the earlier year.
When asked what was the secret to the teams success, Mr Nirvan said “It was hard work, the initial focus was to build the fitness of these talented young lads as well as correcting their techniques. After we entered the play off stage, we worked on attacking & defensive tactics, making the players understand what the benefits were in making space, taking on the defenders 1v1 and winning fouls thereby using set plays to score goals”
Father Lawrence, PIFA assistant coach adds “PIFA has developed a unique training method & simple tactics, whereby the players enjoy doing their fitness routine in a competitive but in a fun environment, learning different skills along the way. Nirvan has brought in these methods into the academy and has adapted the same in the team training quite successfully.”
PIFA-CYFC co-manager, Mr Sudhakar Rane was extremely pleased to see the team being promoted in the first season, he had this to say “until the playoffs, we were defensively strong but struggled to score goals. Once we entered the play offs, the team began playing to a strategy, we were able to win fouls and score goals from the set pieces. PIFA has truly turned the team around with their training methods”.
Mr Nelson, the fitness coach adds “the routines were done as per PIFA guidelines and the boys improved their stamina and speed within 3 months.”
The team has already got a promotion having been unbeaten in the playoffs with still one game to spare.
Another highlight of the team is that they played the youngest football player in the history of MFL. Kean Lewis aged 14 played the strikers role for the team. He was sent to play for Maharasthra, under 15 team in MP, midway through the league. Where he was adjudged the best player of the team having scored most of the goals for the team.
This year PIFA has trained 3 school teams, with great success. Bombay International School 3rd division MSSA under 12 team won the title. This was the 1st ever football trophy won by the school. Campion School 1st division MSSA under 12 team took 3rd place. Sharad Pawar International School in Pune won the 5 a side tournament organised by Mercedes Benz International School.
So whats next for PIFA. “Getting into Elite Division in the next 2 years, it will require a lot of hard work from the boys, also we are now looking for sponsors for the team & the academy” adds Mr Nirvan.
It truly won’t be long to see an improvement in Indian Football. Good enough to see India at the 2022 World Cup !
Premier India Football Academy
20 Evergreen Estate
Dr. E. Moses Road, Mahalaxmi
Mumbai – 400 011