Indian Super League (ISL) semifinalists FC Pune City will be the big attraction for Goan football lovers at the second edition of the AWES Cup, organised by Association for the Wellbeing of Elder Sportspersons (AWES) in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) and Dempo Sports Club (Juniors), at Tilak Maidan, Vasco.
The tournament kicks off on Tuesday, August 28 with a high-octane clash between defending champions Dempo Sports Club and FC Goa. All matches will kick off at 4pm while the final on September 15 will be played under lights.
Besides Dempo and FC Goa, the other Goan teams who will be seen in action include Goa Pro League champions Sporting Clube de Goa, Salgaocar FC and Sesa Football Academy.
I-League side Gokulam Kerala FC and Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) League winners ONGC are returning for the second edition, while unlike the first season when Pune City sent their reserve squad, they will be here with their first team which will include high-profile foreign stars like the Brazilian striker Marcelinho, Uruguayan forward Emiliano Alfaro and ISL’s highest goal scorer Iain Hume. Local lads Adil Khan, Keenan Almeida and Gabriel Fernandes will add to the Goan connect.
The teams have been divided into two groups. Group A includes Dempo SC, FC Goa, FC Pune City and Salgaocar FC. Teams like Gokulam Kerala FC, ONGC, Sporting Clube de Goa and Sesa Football Academy complete Group B.
“This is a good initiative by the organizers to generate funds which can sustain activities for elder sportspersons, who, in their prime, have brought laurels to the state. The SAG is happy to be a part of such an endeavour,” said SAG executive director, V M Prabhu Desai.
AWES was formed last year under the presidentship of former fisheries minister Avertano Furtado and has since then conducted several activities for the welfare of elder sportspersons.
“Ever since we started this organization early last year, we have depended on the generosity of individuals and organisations to take our mission forward. This is a cause that is close to each one of us and we will do everything we can to ensure that our elder sportspersons get the respect they deserve, even in the twilight of their lives,” said AWES President Avertano Furtado.
The tournament is supported by FC Goa, Dempo, Salgaocar, Sporting Clube de Goa and Vedanta.