Thirty players of United Sikkim Football Club(USFC) are undergoing training session at Kolkata to give their debut performance in the second division of I-League scheduled to be kick start from last week of March 2011.
In its debut performance the club is fortunate to have the Indian football team captain, Mr. Bhaichung Bhutia along with Vice-captain Mr. Renedy Singh and another Indian player like Mr. NS Manju as its co- players. At present the team of USFC is based at Kolkata and undergoing training under coach Mr. Stanley Rozario at Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre.
Addressing a press conference Bhaichung Bhutia, who is also the Director of the club, said that the team will be led by Renedy Singh as captain, whereas the team consists of four foreign players along with nine players from north-east region, 11 playres from Sikkim including himself, one from Kalimpong and remaining players from different parts of the country. Sharing his experience Mr. Bhutia said that he had targeted to play in the I-league since 3 years and there is much hope for USFC to be qualified in its first attempt itself.
Bhaichung mentioning further said that his academy is also expected to be started within 4 years and will promote the game of football inclusive of other sports in the state and will even provide
opportunities to the talented professional footballers of the state.
Nike will be the sponsor for the club this year and the club is working on long term deal with Nike as sponsor for USFC too. UFSC is working towards reviving the game of football and allied sports as a whole in the state, so that the people would not only talk about sports and participate in the sporting activities in near future.
Bhaichung thanked the national players for joining the club in its first venture by leaving other big offers from other clubs. Club had almost signed Sunil Chettri but at the last moment due to some circumstances it could not happen but still hopeful to sign him in near future. USFA have targeted to promote the football of whole north-eastern region by being a brand ambassador of the professional club based in the state of Sikkim and north-eastern region.
Baichung added that it is good for the state of Sikkim that two teams from Sikkim have been qualified for the second division of I-league and if any of the team qualifies for the I-league it would be good for the state and for the whole north east region. Club has signed all the local players who have been constantly playing for the club since 2 years and being the professional club it has provided the players with decent salaries too.
Bhaichung said that he is shifting to Sikkim completely from June this year and the club will be having around 4 experienced players and other big surprises for the people of Sikkim. Club is happy for availing land at Namchi for opening of foot ball academy and even thanked the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for sanctioning the letter sent to him last year but the club is still hopeful that the CM will sanction the demand of providing land in an around Pakyong for academy.
Renedy Singh, who has been signed for four months, stated that the club has huge potential to be a renowned club of the country and it just needs the support of the local people to promote the game of football and the club. He assured to give his full effort in promoting Sikkim football along with USFA and to perform his best during the second division of I-league as well.
Senior Manager of USFC, Arjun Rai in his address said that after a long hard work the club is provided with the entry in the second division of the I-League by fulfilling all the criteria and hoped that the club performs well during the tournament. The club has also planned to play few warming up match before leaving for the tournament as well. The second division I-league consists of total 21 teams from different clubs from across the country and only two teams will be qualified for I-league, which is scheduled to begin from October this year.
Courtesy: Sikkim Mail