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18 TFA cadets feted

- Stars grace football cradle convocation

Eighteen trainees of the 2008-12 batch received their certificates at the ninth convocation of Tata Football Academy (TFA) on Monday.

Tata Steel managing director H.M. Nerurkar handed over the passing out certificates and mementoes to the boys in the presence of soccer greats of yesteryears — Chuni Goswami, P.K. Banerji and Shyam Thapa at the academy grounds.

Tata Steel vice-president and chairman of TFA board of management Sanjiv Paul, director (national teams) of All India Football Federation (AIFF) Subhankar Mukherjee, noted sports commentator Novy Kapadia and chief (administration) of Tata Steel M.G. Singh were among those who were also present.

The former cadets — Alwyn George, Karan Sawhney, Sanjay Balmuchu, Simranjeet Singh, Ravinder Singh, Manpreet Singh, Shyam Hangal, Md Mustafa Ali, Satish Patel, Amit Kumar, Bilal Hussain Khan, Ravi Kumar, Y.C. Meitei, Pankaj Sona, Jayabrata Dhar, Irfan Khan, Y.R. Meitei and Pranav Haldar — who have joined different I-League outfits after bidding adieu to the cradle earlier this year, were present wearing their TFA blazers.

Talented mid-fielder Irfan Khan walked home with the Best Gentleman Cadet award.

Speaking on the occasion, Nerurkar called upon the young footballers to show humility as a lot of attractions will come during the soccer career. He also stressed upon the need to form a TFA team for I-League as this would give ample opportunity to upcoming players. He also suggested a IPL kind of soccer league in India. “Unless this happens, the game will not reach its height in India,” he said.

Assuring TFA of all necessary support, Mukherjee said setting up more football academies will lessen dependence on foreign players. “Both AIFF and TFA are on the same page when it comes to youth development. The cradle is doing a wonderful job in developing the skills of budding footballers,” he added.

Welcoming the guests, Paul, who later handed over the TFA Blue honour to Nerurkar, said the cradle was itself a brand and “we have to ensure it continues with its glorious past”.

He called upon the young cadets to go forward and earn laurels for the country.


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