SPORTS: Dream session with Bayern – Six under-18 players to fly to germany on August 14 – Germany to the rescue – Danke, promotion of Football, the favourite hill sport, at long last, but from the heat of Siliguri ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, July 23: Six soccer players from Siliguri selected by the visiting Bayern Munich team last year are set to leave for their trip to Germany on August 14.
The Under-18 boys will rub shoulders with their dream players, Philip Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Thomas Meuller.
Sanjib Kerketta, Abhishek Chhetri, Litan Shil, Amit Thakuri, Dipu Burman and Nishant Toppo were shortlisted by the German football club to visit Munich for an advanced training after the foreign team played an exhibition match against the Siliguri Mahakuma Krira Parishad XI at Kanchenjunga Stadium here in January 2009.
The German club will bear the food and accommodation expenses of the six players. (and airfare ?!!)
“They received their passports yesterday and they will leave for Germany on August 14,” said Jayabrata Ghosh, the SMKP coach. “During their nine-day stay, they will attend practice sessions with the Bayern players, share their dressing room, visit the football ground and also watch one of the matches of the club during the next Bundesliga (German national soccer league) season.”
The first match of the German team in the Bundesliga will be against Wolfsburg on August 20.
Meuller, who bagged the Golden Boot in this year’s Fifa World Cup in South Africa, was one of the members of the Bayern team that came here last year.
“I am really excited about meeting Meuller. If I get a chance to talk to him, I will ask him to show us the Golden Boot. Definitely, I will love to get some valuable tips from him to help develop my skill,” Dipu said.
Amit considers sharing the dressing room with the World Cuppers is a life time experience for players like him.
“They have played the highest level of football in the world. I am excited about the prospect of meeting them and sharing the same ground and dressing room with them. It will be a life time experience for all of us. Whatever tips I will get from players like Meuller will help me improve my play,” he said.
Abhishek, too, echoed his friends. “Time is very short to learn something from the great footballers. I will try to enjoy the every moment of my trip and learn as much as I can,” he said.
State urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya who facilitated the six players’ overseas trip said he had asked the state sports department to provide the players’ plane fare.
SIKKIM FOOTBALL WATCH AT SANTOSH TROPHY
Misfiring Sikkim lose their way – to fight another day ‘if ‘ Haryana wins – Sanju Pradhan down with fever and 4 players less, game excusable, 0-1 not bad ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH STAFF REPORTER
Calcutta: Bhaichung Bhutia dropped in at the Sikkim dressing room at least an hour before the start of the match. Before that he personally got the Northeast side a sponsor for their kits.
He discussed strategy with senior players like Nirmal Chetri, cheered every move from his corner seat in the Mohun Bagan VIP gallery although he would have perhaps liked to stay away from the club premises. He was doing all this for his state. But Bhutia could have only done so much.
Ultimately, the India captain left the Bagan ground dejected as Chhattisgarh pipped Sikkim 1-0 in a Cluster VI Santosh Trophy match to severely dent the Northeast team’s chances of making it to the pre-quarter final round.
Chhattisgarh need only to draw their next match to make it to the last 16 but Bhaichung will be sincerely hoping that Haryana can beat them by at least a 1-0 margin as that would keep Sikkim in the competition.
“We didn’t have four of our regular players, including captain Sanju Pradhan who has high fever. They are young boys and it’s a learning experience for them. Nirmal’s red card was unfortunate. I also feel that the refereeing was a factor. The standard of supervision is a concern,” the India captain said before leaving the Bagan premises where he stayed away from the club dressing room.
Pradhan has been admitted to a city nursing home with viral fever.
Thus, with Pradhan absent and stand-in captain Nirmal Chetri getting his marching orders in the very first minute, things became really difficult for Sikkim. But the blame for returning home empty-handed is theirs alone.
In the 29th minute, when Sikkim striker Bijendra Rai was brought down inside the penalty box, referee Deepak Dey promptly awarded the penalty. But Engphohang Subba’s feeble drive was saved by Chhattisgarh goalkeeper Partha Dey.
A minute later, Chhattisgarh went on a quick counter attack with Subir Maji setting up speedy winger Wasim Raja with a beautiful through. Raja’s powerful right-footer beat an onrushing Surjay Kumar Pariyar to go in.
Chhattisgarh: Partha Dey, Shrikant Naidu, S. Senthil Kumar, Prabhat Tiwary (Jugal Kishore, 86’), Prabal Chakraborty, Reuben Zosangpuia (Ganesh Hansda, 64’), Subir Maji, Wasim Raja, Kulwant Singh, Guman Shreshtha (M. Siddique, 46’), Harshavardhan Shende
Sikkim: Surjay Kumar Pariyar, Nirmal Chetri, Don Tsering Lepcha, Engphohang Subba, Nim Tsering Lepcha, Bijendra Rai, Bir Bahadur Pradhan, Karma Lendup Lepcha, Rupesh Diyali (Laxman Limboo, 68’), Ongo Tsering Lepcha, Sonam Zangpo Bhutia
Referee: Deepak Dey
In Cluster V action, Madhya Pradesh beat Arunachal Pradesh 3-1 while Delhi beat Uttar Pradesh 2-0.