With the releasing of the fixture for the preliminary round of the 2nd Division I-League by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), both the local clubs from Sikkim, Denzong Boyz FC and United Sikkim FC, are all set to take their opponent teams.
According to the AIFF fixture, the United Sikkim FC has been placed in Group “A”, while the Denzong Boyz FC is in Group “B”.
United Sikkim FC will play its preliminary matches in Guwahati against Langsing SC, Shillong on 27th March, Nisa, Manipur on 31st March, Southern Samiti, Kolkata on 2nd April, Golden Threads on 4th April, Guwahati Town Club on 6th April and the final match against Simla Young’s on 9th April.
Whereas on the other hand, Denzong Boyz will play their preliminary matches at Ranchi against Josco FC on 2nd April, Ar-Hima on 5th April, Md. Sporting on 8 April, Sesa, Goa on 10th April, Malabar United on 12th April and Kenkre FC on 17th April respectively.
At present, the 28 member team of Denzong Boys’ FC has been undergoing through and rigorous training sessions at Sukna ground till 18thth March and then the club has the plan to move to Kolkata for further training and adopting the conditioning there.
After the completion of training session at Kolkata, the club has scheduled to move directly to Ranchi for their preliminary matches.
Managing Director, Denzong Boys’ Football Club, Mr. Phurba Sherpa, informed that the players have been undergoing through, rigorous training sessions and the club is all set to play its preliminary matches in the I-League at Ranchi.
Mr. Sherpa further mentioned that by seeing the form and preparation of the players the club has great hope from its players to do well in the preliminary round to go further.
The 28 squad of the club has 3 foreigners included two from Cameroon and one form Liberia, and other players from across the country inclusive of 17 local players from Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong.
The executive members of Denzong Boys’ FC even met the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who is also the Chief Patron of the club today at his official resident at Mintokgang.
It was informed that while expressing his best wishes to the team, the Chief Minister has encouraged the club to play well and to shine the name of Sikkim by attending the first position.
CM has also mentioned that the state has now to do well not only in football but in every other field.
Furthermore the CM even stressed that if the people in the state will not contribute in the state building then nobody from outside the state would come to build the state and CM has also made a financial contribution to the club for the I-League.
On behalf of the whole club, Mr Sherpa has expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister for his encouragement and support to the club.
As a part of the preparation, the 33-member team of United Sikkim Football Club has been undergoing through residential coaching camp and friendly matches in Kolkata.
Senior Manager, United Sikkim Football Club, Mr. Arjun Rai, informed that the team is all set to give its debut performance in the I-League this season and added that for the better team work and understanding the players have been undergoing through the residential coaching camp.
Senior Manager mentioned that the players are very happy to take training along with Bhaichung Bhutia everyday from 09 to 11 AM under the coach, Mr. Stanley Rozario, and assistant coach, Mr. Satya Bhatra Bhowmik.
United Sikkim Football Club had already played four friendly matches in Kolkata, in which the club drew with ONGC by 1-1, won against West Bengal Police by 1-0, lost to Md Sporting by 1-3 and won against Kolkata Academy by 1-0.
It was informed that Bhaichung even played the first 45 minutes in the first friendly match against ONGC.
USFC is now playing its next friendly match against SAIL on Monday and the team is scheduled to fly to Guwahati on 24 March from Kolkata.