Gopal Maidan in Jamshedpur
Four grounds, 34 teams and 750 local players the best from the eastern zone are ready to fight it out on Jamshedpur turf during the coveted McDowell-JSA Football League that kicks off from June 17.
Sources said that the grass at JRD Tata Sports Complex, Gopal Maidan, Armoury Ground and the ISWP Sports Complex the four places where the matches would be held had already been trimmed, with workers currently busy in putting a fresh coat of paint on the goalposts.
The league, which will see several state-level players trying to outwit each other in it, is one of the most sought-after fixtures in the eastern zone.
JSA football committee chairman Ramesh Mehta said that all the grounds were ready to host the tournament that will start with a super league match between Urban Services and Sarna Football Academy at Gopal Maidan.
Newly-appointed JSA secretary Avinash Kumar added that the venues had never been a problem for hosting the league. We have four good grounds at our disposal, which are match-ready., Kumar said.
Interestingly, the event, which is played in Super Division, Premier Division and A-Division categories, will not be hosted at Keenan Stadium at all this season. The Keenan turf from now will exclusively be dedicated to cricket.
While the Premier Division matches will be held at Gopal Maidan, ISWP Sports Complex and JRD Tata Sports Complex, the A-Division matches will be played on Armoury ground. The Premier and Super division categories will have 10 teams each participating in it, while 14 outfits will fight it out in the A-Division.
According to JSA secretary Kumar, the top five teams of both Premier and Super divisions will qualify for the Golden League. In A-Division, the teams will be divided into two pools. Three top teams from each pool will qualify for the Golden League, Kumar said.
The teams fighting it out in the Premier Division will be Tata Football Academy, Telco Sports Club, Tata Steel, Tinplate Sports Club, Aruna Samity Club, Pandit Raghunath Memorial Club, Jamshedpur Boys Club, Jharkhand Sporting Club, South Eastern Railway Sports Association and Sidhu Kanhu Memorial Club.
Tata Motors, Urban Services, Adivasi Ritui Gondai Club, Md Sporting Club, United Football Academy, Jaipal Madwa, Park's India, Gram Vikas Kendra, Thakkar Bappa Club and Sarna Football Academy will compete in the Super Division.
The teams competing in the A-Division are Vivekananda Sporting Club, Burmamines Students Association, Narwa Pahar Sports Club, Jamshedpur Football Academy, Harijan Vikas Samity, Singhbhum Soccer Fans Club, Adivasi Green Sporting Club, Vikas Manzil, Civil Marshal Club, Dobo Sangram Sangha, Adivasi Development and Welfare Association, Jugsalai Diamond Football Academy, Andhra Sporting Union and Pandit Raghunath Murmu Memorial Club.