The Chennaiyin FC Under-13 team is set to feature in the 2018-19 Hero Sub-Junior League final round that commences in Goa next week. Chennaiyin qualified for their second consecutive final round appearance after finishing 2nd in the Chennai zone with six wins from eight games. The CFC U-13 boys arrived in Goa earlier this week on Tuesday and began preparations ahead of their final round opener on Monday 13th May.
Last year in their debut campaign, the CFC U-13s were eliminated from the final round group stage after a draw and two defeats, having qualified with a 100% record in the Chennai zone. This time around their aim will be go further, and they are pitted in Group A alongside Kolkata side Southern Samity, Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) and the side that finishes top of the Play-Off Round Group A. Either Cochin’s FACT Football (FF) Academy or the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) State Football Academy will progress as Play-Off Round Group A winners with the third team Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools out of contention after having lost to the other two. FF Academy and J&K State Football Academy face off on Saturday 11th May for that final Group A spot.
CFC’s opening fixture is against RFYC on Monday 13th May, followed by clashes with the Play-Off Round Group A winners and Southern Samity on Wednesday 15th May and Friday 17th May respectively. All three of Chennaiyin’s group games in the final round will be played at 8 AM at venues around Goa. The group winners will progress to the semis against the Group C winners on Monday 20th May. The final will be contested on Wednesday 22nd May at the Don Bosco Ground.
“Our U-13 boys have been really consistent over both the seasons they have participated in the Sub-Junior League. This is yet another opportunity for them to test their mettle against the country’s best clubs and their aim should be to progress to the semis as group winners. It is in such competitions that development meets competitive spirit, and we must nurture our boys to compete hard. As that is what will aid their development,” said Syed Sabir Pasha, Chennaiyin FC’s Technical Director of Youth Development and First Team Assistant Coach, while wishing the U-13 boys the best.
CFC are the third-highest goalscorers across all zones with 41 goals from eight zonal games, with ten different scorers getting onto the scoresheet. Striker K. Karmugilan from Puducherry was their top-scorer with seven goals. Midfielders K. Srinith and M. Ajay Kumar were not far behind with six goals each. At the other end, CFC had the best defensive record in the Chennai zone with only three goals conceded.
Majority of the CFC U-13 squad is comprised of Tamil Nadu talent, with 16 of the 19-man squad hailing from the state. And their aim will be to make their city and state proud at the national level.
Chennaiyin FC U-13s Squad for Hero Sub-Junior League 2018-19 Final Round:
R. Ajay Kumar (Chennai)
Shubhankar Rajesh Gopali (Mumbai), A. Mohan Raj (Chennai), S. Nagulan (Coimbatore), Akash Mathi (C) (Chennai), R.S. Preyarhanjan (Coimbatore)
M. Ajay Kumar (Chennai), K. Srinith (Chennai), S. Varun Kumar (Chennai), Josemariyaraj (Chennai), J. Elvis Nathaniel (Chennai), Md. Irfan Salaudeen (Chennai), D. Vishal (Chennai), S. Sanjay (Coimbatore), Pranay Santosh (Kerala)
G. Arulesh (Chennai), K. Karmugilan (Pondicherry), D. Karan Chaktravarthy (Coimbatore), E. Kannan (Chennai)
Chennaiyin FC U-13s Hero Sub-Junior League 2018-19 Final Round Fixtures – Group A:
Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) vs Chennaiyin FC U-13s – 13th March 2019 – Utorda Ground, Goa – 8 AM
Chennaiyin FC U-13 vs FF Academy/J&K State Football Academy – 15th March 2019 – Navelim Ground, Goa – 8 AM
Southern Samity vs Chennaiyin FC U-13s – 17th March 2019 – Don Bosco Ground, Goa – 8 AM