Hyderabad: The name ‘Fateh’ itself rings the tune, victorious, and Fateh Hyderabad Associated Football Club (AFC), the only professional club from the city to play in the I-League 2nd Division will aim no less than a bright start to their campaign when they clash against Madhya Pradesh outfit Pride Sports FC (Jabalpur) at the Gachibowli Stadium on Friday.
The city which once boasted of some great football clubs like Hyderabad Police, particularly during 1950-55, had seen a steep decline and thereafter the game reached a new low. However, Wharton mates Yogesh Maurya and Aditya Narayan have set about the task of reviving football in the city by setting up a new professional club Fateh Hyderabad AFC two years ago.
When the second division of the I-League kicks off on Friday, the cities footballing hopes rest upon a young bunch of Fateh Hyderabad players who will bring back the city’s lost glory with their performances on the pitch. Ironically, the team has no city players in their ranks this season.
“Last year was a learning experience for us. We are now a more balanced, organised and experienced bunch now,” says Fateh Hyderabad Associated Football Club head coach and founder Yogesh Maurya with a look of confidence in his face.
“We have made a revamp in the squad. We have brought in some experienced players. We have three foreign players, one each from England, Brazil and Portugal. But we have still retained six of our last year’s players. So to be precise we are a mixture of youth and experience,” Maurya explained about his squad’s depth.
Maurya pointed out that they had worked on the defence, which proved to be the weak link. “We have sorted things out. We have capable players in all positions,’’ he said.
Apart from that, the team has put emphasis on fitness. “It is important to have a fully fit team and modern day game is all about physical fitness,’’ said Maurya, who added that they have appointed Mauro Martins of Portugal as the strength and conditioning coach.”
The 2016-17 I-League season will feature 12 teams with three groups each – Group A, B and C with each group comprising of four team each respectively.
On the upcoming game against Pride Sports FC, coach Maurya was all confident that his team will come out victors. “For me in Group C, Ozone FC looks the strongest on paper but we are the dark horses as we can surprise many. Also for me Sporting Mohammedan and NEROCA seem to be equally strong in the league who also have a chance for title-contention.
“We are moving step-by step. We are not aiming for glory straightaway. We have to go through challenges and that’s what we are looking forward to. We are concentrating more on the youth and we would like to spend our resources in with not some easy benefits in mind but a slow quiet progression,” Maurya opined about the club’s future plans.
With a determined attitude and yearning to win titles the city club seems to be one to look out for and ready to make its own stand in the nations footballing arena.