The past one week was full of joy but there were also moments of upheavals for football coach Harjinder Singh. While the news of selection of seven of his players from the Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA) for the Under-18 Asian School Football Championship,to be held in Iran in October,brought a smile on his face,the very same news later made him ponder over the future course of the team. As he went through the dates of the tournaments that is to be held later on,the worrisome look on his face said it all: the Chandigarh team is almost certain to miss out on one of the most prestigious junior national football tournaments,the Subroto Mukherjee Cup.
The clash of the dates of some very important tournaments made Harjinder take some brave decisions,which were not only in the favour of the players but also for Chandigarh football as a whole. Lack of choice and the limited number of players at his disposal had virtually tied his hands. So,the utmost importance was given to the international tournament so that the players would get good exposure but that meant the players will have to miss out on the Subroto Mukherjee Cup.
Three of our players – Hitesh,Gursimrat and Timoi – have left the Academy while one is seriously injured. Two of our main players,Daniel Lalhimpuia and A Z Lalramzauva,are in Dubai to attend the Under-16 national camp for the final round of the AFC Under-16 Championship. Also,if seven of our players go to attend the camp for the Asian School Football Championship,then we will hardly have any player left to compete in Subroto Cup. So,with the way things are shaping up,the participation looks very difficult at the moment, shared the veteran coach.
Chandigarh is scheduled to play their Under-17 Subroto Cup matches on September 19,20 and 21 while the camp for the Asian School Championship is commencing from the second week of September. The players,who are currently in Srinagar to take part in the Under-17 National School Games football championship,will return to Chandigarh on September 9 and then immediately leave to attend the camp.