After scripting history with Aizawl FC being the first ever team from Northeast to win the Hero I-League, head coach Khalid Jamil said that it was a result of ‘teamwork’.
“At the half-time (in the match against Shillong Lajong FC), I just told the boys that you won’t get another such 45 minutes in your life. We knew we were 45 minutes away from being the Champion. We had to be extra special in the second half,” Jamil was quoted as saying during the post-match press conference by I-League website.
“It is not just about me or any individual,” he stressed mentioning that it has all been about ‘teamwork’.
“It is about the boys. They played continuously and played well. They deserve the credit,” said the Kuwait-born midfielder.
“This is my biggest victory ever,” Jamil pronounced. “I always wanted to win the Hero I-League. Every time at the start of the season, I used to tell myself that ‘this year I should win it.’ I had to wait. And today we have won,” he added.
Jamil, who is incidentally the longest serving Indian coach in the I-League era, stated that at the start of each season he hoped to lay his hands on the elusive trophy.
“It is my dream. Every time I start a season it is my dream to win the I-League. First, I was thinking it will take me two-to-three-or-possibly even six years because it was not realistic to win right away,” Jamil told Goal.com.
Meanwhile, his rival compatriot Thangboi Singto congratulated Aizawl FC on the victory. “They were consistent all throughout. They are the deserving champions,” Singto said.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel congratulated Aizawl FC for winning the 10th edition of the Hero I-League on Sunday (April 30, 2017).
Congratulating Aizawl FC on their maiden success, Patel in his message said, “Aizawl FC’s triumph unfurls a new chapter in Indian football history. This victory will encourage the youth of the country and create a self-belief that on the football pitch, you can pull it off with teamwork. Congratulations!”.
Kushal Das, AIFF general secretary said the zeal to ‘achieve the goal made the success possible’.
“Aizawl FC’s victory substantiates the fact that smart management in a football club can reap dividends. The manner in which the club with a shoe-string budget managed to overpower the bigwigs will be spoken about in Indian football history forever. They are the deserving champions,” said Das.