Aiming to reach I-League


“It was a wonderful performance we had given in one of the 2nd Division I-League seasons. We were aiming to reach the 1st Division League while battling with the top contenders. Throughout the tournament, we maintained our winning form. We won against all the major opponent clubs including Dempo and Indian Bank. Finally, we clichéd a berth in the finals against Punjab Police. The match was to be played at Malda in West Bengal. We keenly watched our opponent as they were well funded and hired foreign players. All the lavish facilities were provided to them. They travelled using cab arrangements. Unlike them, going there itself was a milestone and we typical Bangaloreans could only afford the services of rickshaws. This caused a lot of dissatisfaction with the entire team. Nevertheless our Coach, Mr.Reddy was not distracted and motivated us to the core. The night before the match,  Dempo team members met me and fellow teammates and pleaded to give our best to the final match. As per the equation, we were already qualified for the 1st Division I-League by aggregate score. Now, even if we lose to Punjab Police, the equation said that both of us would get a chance to enter 1st Division I-League and Dempo would lose the privilege to qualify. However, if we defeat the Punjab Police then Dempo will qualify with us instead of Punjab Police. They were in utter despair and told us that the fate of 25 Dempo players lies on the final match. Somehow, we persuaded them that we will do our best. The next day we faced Punjab Police. The match was even on both the sides as both struggled to secure an edge over the other team. Unfortunately, the game ended in a draw 1-1. This frustrated the Dempo players who were watching every move of the game breathlessly. They were so tormented that they threw coins at us just because we were not able to make them reach 1st Division along with us. However, this ending brought for us big respect from the crowd and Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club created a niche in the I-league.”

****Satish, Bangalore****

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