Loyola School and Carmel Junior College come out on top across the three age categories, while Hill Top School girls win the all-girls match.
On a bright and pleasant Sunday morning, the tiny tots of Jamshedpur FC Football Schools came in numbers to participate in the knockout phase of the Jamshedpur FC Junior Champs.
With the group stage concluded back in September, the teams that qualified tussled and challenged each other at Tribal Culture Center in Sonari.
The tournament was across the three age-groups of the Jamshedpur FC Grassroots Football Schools – U5, U8 and U11 and saw participation from the eight schools namely; Mount Litera Zee School, Kerala Samajam Model School, RVS Academy, DBMS Kadma High School, Loyola School, Carmel Junior College, DAV Public School Bistupur and Hill Top School.
Jamshedpur FC Assistant Coach, Steven Dias surprised the children and parents as he graced them with his presence as he kicked-off the tournament.
The former India national team player was glad to see the youngsters playing and competing as he said, “It’s a unique opportunity the kids are getting. As a youngster I never had these opportunities and I want the kids to make the most of it and work hard to become professional football players in the future.”
The final rounds of all three age-groups were conducted under the presence of Chief Aviation & Sports – Tata Steel, Mr. Ravi Radhakrishnan, Jamshedpur FC Head Coach, Antonio Iriondo, Technical Director, Julian Villar-Aragon and star players Tiri and Isaac Vanmalsawma.
The final matches were very closely contested. In U5 category, Mount Litera Little Stars lost out on penalties to Loyola Panthers. The two schools came head to head again in U11 as Loyola Blue Bombers again clinched the match against Mount Litera King Warriors in a nervy affair where once again the game was decided on penalties in the favour of the Loyola team. In the U8 category, it was Carmel Junior College who came out as victors after a narrow 2-1 win against DAV Lions. The tournament also saw an all-girls match where two teams from Hill Top School and KSMS participated. Hill Top School was the eventual winner as they beat their opposition 1-0.
The tournament also saw a lot of goals with 1259 goals in the group stage and knockout together, the tournament averaged 4 goals every match with a cumulative 314 matches played.
Antonio Iriondo, who engaged with the little stars for the first time since his arrival, was glad to see the young kids compete on the lush green pitch. He said, “I was surprised to tell you the truth. I arrived here at this tranquil place that is Tribal Culture Center and then suddenly just behind the building we had so many kids playing football in this beautiful ground.”
He continued, “This game is like a school for life. It teaches us life values and it’s important to enjoy the game. I hope to see these little kids keep on enjoying and keep playing for a long time."
The winners of the tournament were awarded with a winners trophy and gold medals and the runner-up were awarded a runners-up trophy with silver medals.