“If we get such sports facilities we too can play good football.”
That was the observation of Utpal Roy of Bongaigaon who witnessed the first two matches of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium at Sarusajai in Guwahati.
Utpal is not alone, but all the selected school boys of Bongaigaon and Chirang have the same opinion after coming out of the matches from the stadium on Sunday evening.
Young boys like Utpal, who plays as right winger of his school football team, have a dream to become a footballer. And with that hope, they came to Guwahati boarding the Siphung Passenger early morning.
The students of Purani Bongaingaon High School and Sidli Kashikotra High School of Bongaigaon and Chirang district of Assam, who came together as a spectator of the FIFA matches, have a common identity that “they are the future of football in Assam.”
With a mind to develop the standard of the game in Assam, the state government has invited 82 champion school teams of all the districts of Assam to witness the FIFA U-17 World Cup India matches in Guwahati for free. The motive is to popularises and develop the quality of the game in Assam. As part of the initiative, Purani Bongaingaon High School and Sidli Kashikotra High School has got the opportunity to witness the matches from Bongaigaon and Chirang districts of Assam respectively.
“We are invited by the director of sports & youth welfare, Assam to see the FIFA U-17 World Cup matches as an exposure to our young footballers. And we are thankful to the Assam government for extending this support,” told Nirmal Brahma, coach of Purani Bongaigaon High School. The school footballers with their team manager and coach witnessed the first two matches of the premiere tournament in Guwahati.
“The exposure for the budding footballers by the state government is a new initiative that will leave its marks on the new generation footballers,” said Pramod Chandra Brahma, sports teacher at Sidli Kashikotra High School. He added that a few of the boys have both talent and eagerness to play football at a higher level. Brahma added that is the state government helps these budding footballers, “those days are not far when we will see stars from the state donning the national colours”.
Nikunja, Sonok and Kushal with their team members from both Purani Gudam Higher Secondary School and Sidli Kashikotra High School were highly motivated after the matches. They returned with a hope that someone will come forward to support them with necessary logistics to improve their skills and enable them to become future stars of India.